Can critical thinking be taught?

Critical thinking is an essential skill if you want to go big in life. If you want to be an entrepreneur, work at a huge company, start your own business or write your own research papers, you’ll need critical thinking skills.

Can critical thinking be taught? Yes it can. If you have a growth mindset, you will be able to teach yourself critical thinking.

Critical thinking can be easily taught. It’s a skill that needs practice. You can always train your brain to think in a certain way. Critical thinking is one of those thinking methods that can be learned with enough practice and discipline.

Before we dive into how to teach yourself the critical thinking skills, we need to define what exactly is critical thinking.

What exactly is critical thinking?

Since the concept of critical thinking has been around for thousands of years, a lot of definitions have been used to explain what critical thinking is.

However, most of them revolve around a simple concept, and that is how you collect and process information to deal with problems around you.

In very simple words, critical thinking is a way of thinking that requires you to first collect information by observing the problem at hand, then analyze the information you gathered using logical reasoning and derive a conclusion or a solution to the problem.

So critical thinking involves gathering information, analyzing it and deriving a solution based on logical processes. That’s it. Very simple !

Is critical thinking important?

Critical thinking is known to be extremely helpful in many scenarios. 

  • Critical thinking can help CEO s base their decisions on science and probabilities rather than on feelings and pure luck.
  • Critical thinking can help people distinguish between real news and fake news. 
  • Critical thinking can help people elect the best possible president out of the available candidates.

And the list is endless. The question that remains here is how can someone learn critical thinking.

How to learn critical thinking?

1- Think like a programmer

Thinking like a programmer can help you learn critical thinking very easily. Do not panic, you don’t need to be a programmer to learn critical thinking, but learning how to think like a programmer can help you a lot.

Solving a programming problem is like solving a puzzle. You have a problem, you have information about the problem, and you have a set of tools that you need to use in order to solve the problem.

To solve the problem, you’ll have to use your critical thinking skills or else it’ll be much harder to find an efficient solution.

There’s an excellent book called ‘Algorithms to live by’, which you can find on Amazon here, that talks about how algorithms can help you think in a critical way. The book teaches you how to think the same way computer algorithms think.

Computer algorithms are excellent critical thinkers, and learning how they are made can help you improve your critical thinking skills with time. Which brings me to the next point…

2- Think like an Artificial Intelligence system.

Some of the Artificial Intelligence algorithms follow the exact process of critical thinking.

They collect information from the AI’s sensors or other input methods, they analyze the data and use their own knowledge to derive actions and solutions.

With that said, if we train ourselves to think the way an AI thinks, we will eventually be great critical thinkers.

3- Learn to control your emotions.

This is extremely important. Emotions can lead to a misleading judgment if you do not control it.

Fear, love, care, excitement, sadness and other feelings can lead your brain to abandon its critical thinking.

Critical thinking might sometimes require that you drop all of your feelings because they make you biased when taking decisions.

So know how to control your emotions, when to use them and when not to use them. That way, you’ll be one step closer towards critical thinking.

To summarize

Critical thinking can be taught. Thinking like an algorithm can help you a lot when it comes to learning critical thinking. Critical thinking is an extremely important skill to have because it helps you take more rational decisions in life.

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