The Ingredients of a Good Critical Thinker

By Martin Cohen

Part of Critical Thinking Skills For Dummies Cheat Sheet

A good Critical Thinker is composed of many ingredients. If you’re building a Critical Thinker, à la Dr Frankenstein, the following abilities and attributes are the ones you need:

  • Tolerance: Critical Thinkers delight in hearing divergent views and enjoy a real debate.

  • Analytical skills: Critical Thinkers don’t accept just any kind of talking. They want properly constructed arguments that present reasons and draw sound conclusions.

  • Confidence: Critical Thinkers have to be a little bit confident to be able to examine views that others present — often people in authority.

  • Curiosity: Critical Thinkers need curiosity. It may have killed the cat, but curiosity is the essential ingredient for ideas and insights.

  • Truth-seeking: Critical Thinkers are on mission ‘objective truth’ — even if it turns out to undermine their own previously held convictions and long-cherished beliefs and is flat against their self-interest.