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The Importance of Critical Thinking in Everyday Life

The Importance of Critical Thinking in Everyday Life

In 2012, Psychologist Heather Butler studied the importance that critical thinking plays in our everyday lives. “Critical thinking is not just the new buzzword in education. Critical thinking involves real outcomes that can be measured, predicted, and—perhaps for the negative life events—avoided” (Butler, 2012, p. 725).

In 2013, studies by Grossmann, Varnum, Kitayama, and Nisbett concluded that wise reasoning, rather than intelligence, was a predictor of well-being. In 2017, Dr. Butler and her colleagues, referencing the Grossmann study and based on their own research, determined that the ability to think critically was a better predictor of effective life decisions than was intelligence (Butler, Pentoney, & Bong, 2017).

Initial Post Instructions

For the initial post, address the following:

  • Do you agree that wisdom/critical thinking is a better predictor of well-being than intelligence? To answer, you will have to define what the following terms mean for you:
    • Critical thinking
    • Wisdom
    • Intelligence
    • Well-being
  • Reflect on what you read in the text this week. Think of the people you know.
    • Are the good people smart?
    • Are the smart people good?
    • How do you define “good”? How do you define “smart”?
    • Can we use our intelligence to become “good”? If yes, how? If no, why not?

Follow-Up Post Instructions

Respond to at least one peer. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification. Look at your peers’ definitions. Do you agree with them? If yes, why, if no, why not?

Writing Requirements

  • Minimum of 2 posts (1 initial & 1 follow-up)
  • Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside source)
  • APA format for in-text citations and list of references


This activity will be graded using the Discussion Grading Rubric. Please review the following link:

Course Outcomes

CO 1: Define critical reasoning for application to personal and professional problem-solving.

CO 7: Create a fallacy-free argument that incorporates principles of ethical decision-making.

Due Date

Due Date for Initial Post: By 11:59 p.m. MT Recommended by Wednesday

Due Date for Follow-Up Posts: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday

Posts must be on two separate days.


Butler,H.A. (2012, Sep/Oct). Halpern critical thinking assessment predicts real-world outcomes of critical thinking. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 26(5), 721-729. 10.1002/acp.2851

Butler, H.A., Pentoney, C., & Bong, M. P. (2017). Predicting real-world outcomes: Critical thinking ability is a better predictor of life decisions than intelligence. Thinking Skills and Creativity25, 38-46.

Grossmann, I., Na, J., Varnum, M.E.W., Kitayama, S., & Nisbett, R.E. (2013). A route to well-being: intelligence versus wise reasoning. Journal of Experiential Psychology: General142(3), 944–953.



1. Introduction

Critical thinking refers to the capacity for an individual to actively apply a set of internal, guiding principles in a thoughtful manner before acting. It is a form of deliberate decision making that focuses on judgments based on criteria, logical reasoning, and prediction. It is not to be confused with simply feeling incredulous or playing the ‘devil’s advocate’. Critical thinking combines the three types of thinking, which include creative thinking, analytical thinking, and research-based thinking. People use critical thinking in a multitude of different ways in everyday life and it is not always consciously used. The true scale of critical thinking is not known as this is not something that is measured. This review will be considering the many times when critical thinking is used and its importance in daily environments. The significance of critical thinking is important due to personal experience that can be improved and lead to solutions to problems not only in the workplace but also on a more personal level that can have positive and negative outcomes to the decisions made. Critical thinking is not confined to the solution of given problems; it is more concerned with the overarching principle and purpose of the thinking itself. The analytical tools and the efficient language help to create conditions that enable critical thinking: the place and space to provisionally explore given topics, conditions that enable the shift of thought and the use of alternative thinking. It is quite commonly seen that students reference the material available at a given time of writing without considering the worth of the data itself. This is a fundamental barrier to the development of the critical thinking skills that are required by modern information researchers and can ruin both research and lateral thinking, such as thinking beyond finding an answer to a given immediate question.

1.1 Definition of Critical Thinking

“Analytical thinking is the process of making a reliable and precise and observable conclusion from the evidence.” Critical thinking involves both cognitive skills and dispositions. These dispositions, which can be seen as attitudes or habits of mind, include open- and fair-mindedness, inquisitiveness with the desire to gain knowledge to solve problems, and the good judgment that helps in the situation of choosing the correct treatment. Other definitions have underscored what critical thinking means.

Critically, it is…Additional relevant definitions of critical thinking:

Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past 2500 years. The term “critical thinking” has its roots in the mid-late 20th century. Below are a few of the well-known meanings of critical thinking. Because critical thinking is important in all careers, students are most likely to write essays on critical thinking. The importance of critical thinking has received many researches by many researchers. After these researches, different scientists have defined critical thinking in their paper from their point of views. However, there are many descriptions of critical thinking, or at least aspects of critical thinking and many field-specific. According to Harvey Siegel, professor of philosophy at the University of Miami, critical thinking in the classroom is taught in the following ways: It is taught directly. It is taught explicitly. It is taught by giving facts and evidence. It is taught by providing training. According to Martin Scriven, CEO of the Health Education England, critical thinking is not just being critical.

1.2 Significance of Critical Thinking

Since basic reasoning is significant in for all intents and purposes all professions, understudies are never again being trained powerful basic reasoning aptitudes. This is one purpose behind the absence of basic intuition in regular daily existence. Since the present understudies are not being shown aptitudes to make them better future residents. The significance of basic intuition has throughout the years worked its way into numerous meanings of study hall practice. Be that as it may, more critically, addressing exchanging with the right explanations is upheld by straightforward deduction practice.

Basic speculation about fantasizing truly includes individuals to always remember about their observation. Individuals utilizing basic reasoning will in general take a gander at their presumptions cautiously. At times, they will in general inspect their reality. The State of Critical Thinking Today expresses that basic speculation encourages better choices, progressively proficient critical thinking, inventive innovativeness and better correspondence. Everyone can profit by basic speculation coming up and in the working environment.

When confronted with an issue, you have to have the option to figure out what kind of issue you are managing. What’s more, you need to likewise examine the profundity of the issue to know how a lot further you have to go. As indicated by investigate, basic reasoning in basic reasoning article has to do with the capacity for the person to think normally and unmistakably. This implies the individual can manufacture things utilizing their own understanding.

It is fundamental to comprehend the significance of basic thinking in regular daily existence and in certain business fields. Without the correct aptitudes for basic reasoning, you can’t settle on viable choices. Basic reasoning includes exhibiting both examination and assessment. Therefore, you can settle on insightful choices that can prompt a specific result. This is particularly significant in the event that you work in a field that requires imaginative critical thinking.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The aim of the present study is to analyze the impact of critical thinking on life decisions. The study focuses on the various aspects of critical thinking. First, the research will try to identify and analyze critical thinking strategies. This is crucial in establishing the efficacy of the general process in making good decisions. Second, the study will analyze the influence of critical thinking on decision-making. Such an analysis will require a comprehensive review of the current literature on the subject as well as empirical research. This is geared towards helping in understanding of the relevant input in decision-making. This will also help in creating a deeper understanding of the mechanism through which critical thinking affects decisions. Third, the study seeks to establish the potential benefits of critical thinking. It is believed that critical thinking can not only help in decision-making but many studies have also suggested that a good critical thinking can provide a creative and productive contribution to one’s workplace. The use of critical thinking has become popular in teaching so that students are able to acquire practical knowledge of the real world critical thinking. The study will address the various benefits related to critical thinking as proposed in the literature. By looking at it in the ‘decision making’ point of view, the last part of the study analyses the impact and benefits of decision making and good choices in our social lives. We will carry that if people can make systematic choices in some decision problems, wise choices be made and further improvements on the social welfare. It is proposed that if people teach critical thinking or at least share their views and ideas, communities can be more organised and well-structured. So, teaching good critical thinking skills should also be an end in sight in social network and community of learners. The research is valuable because it identifies the various agents of knowledge that contribute to better decisions and shows the potential of critical thinking in benefiting the greater good of public. From the essay, it is clear that the use of critical thinking as a means to resolve problems and make strategic decisions in either a personal or a professional environment can positively affect the successful outcome of any given goals or targets relative to the said environment. This has been proven by literature and is echoed in practice. On the whole, the research seeks to produce a series of comprehensive analysis on the aspects of critical thinking and its role in decision making process and debates.

2. The Role of Critical Thinking in Education

2.1 Integration of Critical Thinking in Curriculum

2.2 Benefits of Critical Thinking in Education

2.3 Challenges in Promoting Critical Thinking in Education

3. Measuring Critical Thinking

3.1 Methods for Assessing Critical Thinking Skills

3.2 Importance of Measuring Critical Thinking

3.3 Predictive Power of Critical Thinking

4. Critical Thinking and Well-being

4.1 Relationship between Wise Reasoning and Well-being

4.2 Comparison of Intelligence and Wise Reasoning

4.3 Implications for Personal Well-being

5. Critical Thinking and Effective Life Decisions

5.1 Link between Critical Thinking and Decision Making

5.2 Comparison of Critical Thinking and Intelligence in Decision Making

5.3 Practical Applications of Critical Thinking in Decision Making

6. Conclusion

6.1 Summary of Findings

6.2 Implications for Individuals and Society

6.3 Future Research Directions

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