Critical Thinking: Definitions and Use

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I would describe critical thinking as perceiving reality by analyzing every aspect of it and identifying its flaws. Work with Internet sources has shown that this definition does not reflect all aspects of the phenomenon under study. Thus, in general, critical thinking is defined as – a system of judgments that is used to analyze things from a critical perspective and events with the formulation of reasonable conclusions and allows to make appropriate assessments, interpretations and correctly apply the results to situations and problems (Payette & Barnes, 2017). This definition describes the situations where critical thinking can be used, therefore, more accurately revealing its value. Many descriptions cited on the Internet are based on a comparison of critical and pre-critical thinking, indicating that the former is an attribute of a more developed individual in terms of cognitive abilities. Some sources have emphasized that critical thinking is a set of qualities of the human mind. This approach defines this phenomenon as a collected and disciplined mind, concentration, and the ability to manage one’s cognitive processes rather than reproducing ready-made patterns (Kim, 2019). In terms of its attributes, critical thinking is thinking that is based on logical reasoning of all the information it receives. It is always focused not on proving specific ideas and theses but on searching for the truth. Within the framework of critical thinking, all facts are subjected to careful analysis and comprehension using methods of rational cognition. Some sources define critical thinking in terms of its value in professional life. According to them, this is a set of soft skills that enables a person to analyze and evaluate information received, reason logically, and select arguments to make rational decisions (Why You Need Strong Critical Thinking Skills, 2019). Thus, sources on the Internet offer different definitions of critical thinking that emphasize the value, attributes, or benefits of the phenomenon. Moreover, this type of thinking has been considered in other spheres. It has been defined as a mental property, an attitude toward reality, and a professional skill. My definition views this phenomenon as an attitude toward reality. From this point of view, it was worth specifying in the definition the situations in which critical thinking is activated.


Kim, B. (2019). Introduction to Critical Thinking – Critical Thinking. Pressbooks.

Payette, P., & Barnes, B. (2017). Teaching for Critical Thinking: Edward de Bono’s Six Thinking Hats. The National Teaching & Learning Forum, 26(3), 8–10.

Why You Need Strong Critical Thinking Skills. (2019). The Balance Careers.

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1. PsychologyWriting. "Critical Thinking: Definitions and Use." March 14, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Critical Thinking: Definitions and Use." March 14, 2023.