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What attributes would define a critical thinker?

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Need ideas on what would be someone that would be a critical thinker and why? ( brief summaries.)

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1. What attributes would define a critical thinker?

There is no consensus on a definition of the attributes of a critical thinker, but there are some common themes.
Critical thinkers gather information from all senses, verbal and/or written expressions, reflection, observation, experience and reasoning. Critical thinking has its basis in intellectual criteria that go beyond subject-matter divisions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking) and to think outside the box. Critical thinkers use the information to analyze and evaluate situations in order to come up with the best possible course of action given the alternatives. Critical thinkers are also creative in their ideas and dreams and are innovative and often cutting edge in business. Critical thinking and creative thinking go hand in hand.

In Peak Performance (1997), S. Ferrett identified the primary attributes of a critical thinker. These qualities can help your students succeed on the GED Test and throughout their lives. As you read the list below, think about how the following examples might manifests these attributes:

Critical thinkers:

? Ask pertinent questions
? Assess statements and arguments
? Are able to admit a lack of understanding or information
? Have a sense of curiosity
? Are interested in finding new solutions
? Are able to clearly define a set of criteria for analyzing ideas
? Are willing to examine beliefs, assumptions, and opinions and weigh them against facts
? Listen carefully to others and are able to give feedback
? Suspend judgment until all facts have been gathered and considered
? Look for evidence to support assumptions and beliefs
? Are able to adjust opinions when new facts are found
? Look for proof
? Examine problems closely
? Are able to reject information that is incorrect or irrelevant
? See that critical thinking is a lifelong process of self-assessment (http://www.ket.org/ged2002/critical/cr3.htm)

2. Need ideas on what would be someone that would b e a critical thinker and why brief summaries.

Let's look at three examples, with a fried explanation, followed by an excerpt for further evidence of being a critical thinker.


1. Bill Gates:

How about Bill Gates, as an example? William H. Gates is chairperson and chief software architect of Microsoft Corporation, the worldwide leader in software services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. His dream and business adventure involved critical thinking, and it seems safe to say that he is a critical thinker (has the qualities discussed above, such as gathering information about building a computer and everyone having a computer, had a sense of curiosity about computers, looked for proof examining facts closely, etc), seen in the excerpt below of his story of success.


Bill Gates was born on October 28, 1955 in a family having rich business, political and community service background. His great-grandfather was a state legislator and a mayor, his grandfather was vice president of national bank and his father was a lawyer.

Bill strongly believes in hard work. He believes that if you are intelligent and know how to apply your intelligence, you can achieve anything. From childhood Bill was ambitious, intelligent and competitive. These qualities helped him to attain top position in the profession he chose. In school, he had an excellent record in mathematics and science. Still he was getting very bored in school and his ...

Solution Summary

By example, this solution examines attributes of that would define a critical thinker, and why. Three examples of business leaders are examined based on attributes of critical thinking.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Define Critical Thinking; how can it be applied to improve decision-making?

Please answer the following questions based on content, coverage and imaginative thought. Please answer the questions as fully, covering all aspects of the question in your response.

1. Define Critical Thinking and describe its benefits and components.
2. How can you apply critical thinking to improve your decision-making? What happens to decision-making in the absence of critical thinking?
3. Can you be a critical thinker and still believe in absolute truth when making a decision? Why or why not?
4. What attributes would define you as a critical thinker?
5. Formulate an effective problem statement using comparative methods.
6. Provide examples of tools/techniques that help identify causes of the problem. Use illustrations if necessary.
7. Describe how each of the following Influences decision making:
a. Contextual factors
b. Urgency
c. Importance
d. Constraints
e. Resource availability
f. Political support
g. Personalities
h. Diversity
i. Globalization
j. Ethics
k. Media
8. How would managers with different decision-making styles utilize decision-making tools differently?
9. Define the elements of an effective implementation plan.
10. Why do good decisions sometimes have bad results?
11. What is the importance of having a contingency plan?
12. Provide examples of evaluation tools/techniques. Use illustrations if necessary.
13. How can you tell if your decision-making process was effective?
14. How can you evaluate an implementation plan? Provide examples

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