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The ABCs of Critical Thinking part three

We’ve already considered the A and B of the “ABCs.” These included the affective or emotional base and the behavioral or action based response. Now we’ll move on to the “C,” or the Cognitive component of critical thinking.

This piece considers the realization of the conscious actions our minds make when thinking at an elevated level. More precisely it is our ability to think about our thinking. Confusing I know, in an attempt to explain it would be our ability to grasp a certain topic or learn a specific skill and our subsequent analysis of our learning process.

This analysis would lead to an understanding of our own ability to think independently, or define problems accurately. This is the study of our own thinking skills, our ability to take data, analyze it make a decision then learn from the  process we took to make that decision. There are four basic ways to implement this method, briefly described:

1.      Inductive Thinking – Using what we’ve learned by applying the specific to the general or expanding the knowledge we posses to larger topics

2.      Deductive Thinking – Using what we’ve learned by applying the general to the specific or taking the knowledge of a large topic and applying it to a specific sub topic

3.      Dialogical Thinking – Verbally exchanging opinions to understand the problem

4.      Dialectical Thinking – This is the type of thinking that uses opposing viewpoints to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of opposing options

Using these four methods we will better understand complex decisions, which will allow us to make choices that will benefit us in the most positive way. These methods build the base for our higher brain activity. Once we have this raw data a few steps still remain. We need to take each piece and synthesize it into rational action. This assumes that we have the maturity to stave off mass generalization as well as the ability to employ metacognition, or as I described before, the ability to think about our thinking.

Use the ABCs to your advantage and make decisions that will positively impact your future.

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