So what is exactly critical thinking? First of all it should not be confused with being critical to other people. Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. People who think critically are able to understand the logical connections between ideas, identify, construct and evaluate arguments, detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning, solve problems systematically, identify the relevance and importance of ideas, and reflect on the justification of one's own beliefs and values. It also can be a key-point to make good decisions. Critical thinking incudes skepticism, but skepticism is not rejection of ideas as some people may think, it refers to doubting, analyzing and suspending of our judgments.
Does critical thinking possess the thread for positive thinking and creativity?
Why we can’t sometimes think critically? There could be several reasons for that, one of them is strong emotion, probably there is no man able to think clearly in such situation. Another case connected with positive thinking, when excessive optimism stops you from seeing the real situation. But the biggest enemies are arrogance and intolerance, when you can’t understand and except the existence of another point of you.
How to improve critical thinking: The most important thing is to make your brain work, different brain teasers and riddles will help you with it. You can combine pleasant and useful thing doing logic puzzles such as crossword puzzles, sudoku etc. One thing you can practice any time, watching TV, reading news or talking with someone is open-ended questions (How, Why etc.). Last but not least is reasoning your values: if you have a favourite quote or belief, try to reflect whether it is always right and in which cases it could fail. You can then train yourself how to explain why you think the statement is correct or incorrect in order to support its claims.
If you are interested in this topic, following links may be useful:
1. Short Video explaining what critical thinking is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OLPL5p0fMg
2. Video about how critical thinking works and how you can use it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpPKRFh-yCc
3. Exercises for promoting critical thinking: http://mcckc.edu/services/criticalthinking/instructorresources/psychologyresources.asp