Critical Thinking For Psychology

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There is good evidence that critical thinking skills and dispositions can be taught (see Teaching Critical Thinking).

This guide includes (a) sources that extol the importance of critical thinking, (b) research that identifies specific critical thinking skills and conceptualizations of critical thinking dispositions, (c) a list of the best practices for teaching critical thinking skills and dispositions, and (d) a review of research into ways of assessing critical thinking skills and dispositions (see Assessments).

Critical thinkers are flexible, open-minded, persistent, and willing to exert mental energy working on tough problems.

Unlike poor thinkers, critical thinkers are willing to admit they have made an error in judgment if confronted with contradictory evidence, and they operate on autopilot much less than poor thinkers (see Critical Thinking Dispositions).

Many among the public have not yet learned that what makes science special is that evidence has to meet certain standards.

All the critical thinking instruction in the world will not help people distinguish between true and false claims if they do not have a grasp of what constitutes .

Nisbett 1993 tackles the question of whether critical thinking skills can be taught and provides ample empirical evidence to that end. 2007 is a good resource for psychology students interested in learning how to improve their scientific reasoning skills, a specific set of thinking skills needed by psychology and other science students.

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2007 was written specifically to address critical thinking in psychology.

Those interested in a historical reference are referred to Ennis 1962, which is credited by some as renewing contemporary interest in critical thinking.


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