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Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding

the logical connection between ideas. Critical thinking has been the subject of
much debate and thought since the time of early Greek philosophers such as Plato
and Socrates and has continued to be a subject of discussion into the modern age.
It is an intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing,
applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information gathered from, or
generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as
a guide to belief and action.

"Critical" as used in the expression "critical thinking" connotes the
importance or centrality of the thinking to an issue, question or problem of
concern. "Critical" in this context does not mean "disapproval" or "negative."
There are many positive and useful uses of critical thinking, for example
formulating a workable solution to a complex personal problem, "Critical" as used
in the expression "critical thinking" connotes the importance or centrality of the
thinking to an issue, question or problem of concern. "Critical" in this context does
not mean "disapproval" or "negative." There are many positive and useful uses of
critical thinking, for example formulating a workable solution to a complex
personal problem
Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and
skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating
information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection,
reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.

According to Barry K. Beyer (1995), critical thinking means making clear,
reasoned judgments. During the process of critical thinking, ideas should be
reasoned, well thought out, and judged.

National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking,1987

"Critical thinking in nursing practice is a discipline specific, reflective
reasoning process that guides a nurse in generating, implementing, and evaluating
approaches for dealing with client care and professional concerns. - Critical
thinking is the skillful application of a repertoire of validated general techniques
for deciding the level of confidence you should have in a proposition in the light
of the available evidence.
-- Tim van Gelder
Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding
what to believe or do.
-- Robert Ennis
Bloom identified six thinking levels:

1. Knowledge (knowing things)

For every problem, clear vision puts us on the right path to solve it. This
step identifies the argument or the problem that needs to be solved. Questions
should be asked to acquire a deep understanding about the problem. In some cases,
there is no actual problem, thus no need to move forward with other steps in the
critical thinking model. The questions in this stage should be open-ended to allow
the chance to discuss and explore main reasons. At this stage, two main questions
need to be addressed: What is the problem? And why do we need to solve it?

2. Comprehension (understanding things)

Once the problem is identified, the next step is to understand the situation
and the facts aligned with it. The data is collected about the problem using any of
the research methods that can be adopted depending on the problem, the type of
the data available, and the deadline required to solve it.

3. Application (being apply to apply knowledge in the real world)

This step continues the previous one to complete the understanding of

different facts and resources required to solve the problem by building a linkage
between the information and resources. Mind mapscan be used to analyze the
situation, build a relation between it and the core problem, and determine the best
way to move forward.

4. Analysis (ability to pull things apart intellectually)

Once the information is collected and linkages are built between it the main
problems, the situation is analyzed in order to identify the situation, the strong
points, the weak points, and the challenges faced while solving the problem. The
priorities are set for the main causes and determine how they can be addressed in
the solution. One of the commonly used tools that can be deployed to analyze the
problem and the circumstances around it is the cause effect diagram, which
divides the problem from its causes and aims to identify the different causes and
categorize them based on their type and impact on the problem.

5. Synthesis (ability to see through the clutter to the core issues)

In this stage, once the problem is fully analyzed and all the related
information is considered, a decision should be formed about how to solve the
problem and the initial routes to follow to take this decision into action. If there

are number of solutions, they should be evaluated and prioritized in order to find
the most advantageous solution. One of the tools that contribute choosing the
problem solution is the SWOT analysis that tends to identify the solution’s
strength, weakness, opportunity, and threat

6. Evaluation (the ability to make good judgments)

The final step is to build an evaluation about the problem that can be put into
action. The result of critical thinking should be transferred into action steps. If the
decision involves a specific project or team, a plan of action could be implemented
to ensure that the solution is adopted and executed as planned.

The critical thinking method can be adopted to replace emotions and perusal
biases when trying to think about a situation or a problem. The time for adopting
critical thinking varies based on the problem; it may take few minutes to number
of days. The advantage of deploying critical thinking is that it contributes to
widening our perspectives about situations and broadening our thinking
possibilities. However, these steps should be translated into a plan of action that
ensures that the decided resolution is well achieved and integrated between all the
involved bodies.


Stage One: We Begin as Unreflective Thinkers. We all begin as largely
unreflective thinkers, fundamentally unaware of the determining role that thinking
is playing in our lives. We don‘t realize, at this stage, the many ways that
problems in thinking are causing problems in our lives. We unconsciously think of
ourselves as the source of truth. We assume our own beliefs to be true. We
unreflectively take in many absurd beliefs merely because they are believed by

those around us. We have no intellectual standards worthy of the name. Wish
fulfillment plays a significant role in what we believe.
Stage Two: We Reach the Second Stage When We Are Faced
with The Challenge Of Recognizing the Low Level at Which We and Most
Humans Function as Thinkers. For example, we are capable of making false
assumptions, using erroneous information, or jumping to unjustifiable conclusions.
This knowledge of our fallibility as thinkers is connected to the emerging
awareness that somehow we must learn to routinely identify, analyze, and assess
our thinking.
Stage Three: We Reach the Third Stage When We Accept the
Challenge and Begin to Explicitly Develop Our Thinking Having actively
decided to take up the challenge to grow and develop as thinkers, we become
"beginning" thinkers, i.e., thinkers beginning to take thinking seriously.
Stage Four: We Reach the Fourth Stage When We Begin to
Develop A Systematic Approach to Improving Our Ability to Think. At this
stage, we now know that simply wanting to change is not enough, nor is episodic
and irregular "practice." We recognize now the need for real commitment, for
some regular and consistent way to build improvement of thinking into the fabric
of our lives.
Stage Five: We Reach the Fifth Stage When We Have Established.
Good Habits of Thought Across the Domains of Our Lives. We know that we
are reaching the stage we call the Advanced Thinker stage when we find that our
regimen for rational living is paying off in significant ways. We are now routinely
identifying problems in our thinking, and are working successfully to deal with
those problems rationally. We have successfully identified the significant domains
in our lives in which we need to improve (e.g. professional, parenting, husband,
wife, consumer, etc.), and are making significant progress in all or most of them.

Stage Six: We Reach the Sixth Stage When We Intuitively Think
Critically at a Habitually High Level Across all the Significant Domains
of Our Lives. The sixth stage of development, the Master Thinker Stage, is
best described in the third person, since it is not clear that any humans living
in this age of irrationality qualify as "master" thinkers. It may be that the
degree of deep social conditioning that all of us experience renders it unlikely
that any of us living today are "master" thinkers. Nevertheless, the concept is a
useful one, for it sets out what we are striving for and is, in principle, a stage
that some humans might reach.
The eight components that have been identified as part of the critical
thinking process include:
1. Perception
2. Assumption
3. Emotion
4. Language
5. Argument
6. Fallacy
7. Logic
8. Problem Solving
1. Perception: Perception refers to the way we receive and translate
our experiences how and what we think about them. For some, plain yogurt is
delicious, while for others it is disgusting. For the most part, perception is a
learned process. Eg: In the workplace, one employee will perceive a co-
worker to be a constructive decision-maker, while at the same time, another
sees the same employee as an adversarial roadblock to progress.
2. Assumptions: Trying to identify the assumptions that underlie the
ideas, beliefs, values, and actions that others and we take for granted is central
to critical thinking. Assumptions are those taken-for-granted values, common-

sense ideas, and stereotypical notions about human nature and social
organization that underlie our thoughts and actions. Assumptions are not
always bad. For example, when you buy a new car, you assume that it will run
without problems for a while. When you go to sleep at night, you assume that
your alarm will wake you up in the morning. Remember, assumptions depend
on the notion that some ideas are so obvious and so taken for granted that they
don‘t need to be explained. Yet, in many cases, insisting on an explanation
reveals that we may need more factual evidence in order to develop
wellsupported viewpoints and to come to sound decisions. The problem with
assumptions is that they make us feel comfortable without present beliefs and
keep us from thinking about alternatives.
3. Emotion:
Emotions/feelings are an important aspect of the human experience.
They are a critical part of what separates humans from machines and the lower
animals. They are part of everything we do and everything we think. Emotions
can affect and inspire thought, stated William James, but they can also destroy
it. We all have personal barriers enculturation, ego defenses, self-concept,
biases, etc. shaped by our exposure to culture and genetic forces. But to the
critical thinker, personal barriers are not walls, merely hurdles. Critical
thinkers don‘t ignore or deny emotions; as with other forces of influence on
our thinking, they accept and manage them.
4. Language:
Some say that language is the landscape of the mind. Others say that
language is the software of our brain. Whatever the metaphor, it is clear that
thinking cannot be separated from language. Furthermore, for the multitude
that define thinking itself as expressed thought,‖ language carries the content
and structures the form of the entire thinking process.
5. Argument: Many people think that arguing means fighting or
quarreling. In the context of critical thinking, however, this definition does not

fit. An argument is simply a claim, used to persuade others, that something is
(or is not) true and should (or should not) be done. When someone gives
reasons for believing something hoping that another person will come to the
same conclusion by considering those reasons the discourse is geared toward
persuasion. An argument contains three basic elements: an issue, one or more
reasons called premises in logic, and one or more conclusions. Arguments can
be valid or invalid, based on how they are structured. Arguments are not true
or false only premises and conclusions are true or false. The goal of a critical
thinker is to develop sound arguments that have both validity (are structured
properly) and true premises. When we have a validly structured argument with
true premises, we have a sound argument. In sound arguments the conclusion
must be true and therein lies the beauty and usefulness of logic.
6. Fallacy:
Since we use language for the three primary purposes of informing,
explaining, and persuading, we must be careful how we use it. We must make
every effort to apply sound reasoning, particularly when language is used to
persuade. To be sound, reasoning must satisfy three conditions:
1. it must be valid (structured properly)
2. the premises must be true
and 3. all relevant information must be included.
If the reasoning fails to satisfy any of these three criteria, it is said to
be fallacious. A fallacy, then, is an incorrect pattern of reasoning. Remember,
finding a fallacy in your own or someone else‘s reasoning does not mean that
the conclusion is false. It means only that the conclusion has not been
sufficiently supported because one or more of the above three conditions were
not satisfied. Fallacies can be committed through any of our communication
methods, especially in the print, visual, and sound media.
7. Logic:

Traditionally, philosophy has distinguished between two methods of
reasoning: deductive logic and inductive logic. In logic, moving from
observations to conclusions is called induction. Moving from conclusions to
predictions that something will follow, given a set of circumstances and then
verifying the prediction is called deduction. Inductive reasoning is
characterized by reasoning from diverse facts, probability, generalizations,
hypotheses, and analogies, leading to inductive strength. Deductive reasoning
is characterized by reasoning from known facts, certainty, syllogisms,
validity, and truth of premises, leading to sound arguments and conclusions.
8. Problem Solving:
Solving logic problems is like solving any problem that we encounter
or identify in life. The following general model for problem solving is
1. Read and heed the problem. What is it telling you? What is it
asking? Define terms that you do not understand.
2. Identify the unknown, It is helpful to name these with a symbol.
Math uses a letter known as a variable, but any symbol will do.
3. Identify the known‘s. Write down all the information that the
problem tells you. Even if you just repeat the givens in the problem, list them.
4. Start to identify the relationships between the known and the
unknowns. This is the critical and creative part of solving a problem. Create a
visual aid like a diagram, sketch, table, etc., that allows you to see the
5. Use the relationships identified in step (4) to generate a problem-
solving strategy.
6. Apply the strategy and solve.
7. If something doesn‘t seem to work, repeat steps 1-6. The secret to
problem solving is continuing to try and learning something new on each
successive iteration. The solution will ultimately be reached.

a. Debate:
It involve enquiry, advocacy, and reasoned judgment on a proposition.
A person or group may debate or argue the pros and cons of a proposition in
coming to a reasoned judgment.
b. Individual decision:
An individual may debate a proposition in his or her mind using
problem solving or decision making process. When consent or cooperation of
others is needed, the individual may use group discussion, persuasion,
propend, coercions or a combination of this method
c. Group discussion:
Five conditions for reaching decision through group discussion are
group members agree that a problem exist, have comparable standard of
value, have comparable purposes, are willing to accept consensus of the
group, and relatively few in number
d. Persuasion:
It is communication to influence the acts, beliefs, attitude, and value of
others by reasoning, urging or inducement. Debate and advertising are two
forms of communication which intent is to persuade
e. Propend:
It can be good or bad; it is multiple media communication designed to
persuade or influence a mass audience.
f. Coercion:
Threat or use of force is coercions. An example of coercions is
brainwashing in which subjects are completely controlled physically
controlled for a indefinite period of time.
g. Combination of method:
Some situation requires a combination of foregoing communication
techniques to reach a decision.

The critical thinking process, as described by Wolcott and Lynch ,
includes four steps. Students generally begin their critical thinking at step
one and, with practice, progress to step 2 and up the ladder.
Step 1:
Identify the problem, the relevant information, and all uncertainties
about the problem. This includes awareness that there is more than one correct
solution. (low cognitive complexity)
Step 2:
Explore interpretations and connections. This includes recognize one's
own bias, articulating the reasoning associated with alternative points of view,
and organizing information in meaningful ways. (moderate cognitive
Step 3:
Prioritize alternatives and communicate conclusions. This includes
thorough analysis, developing the guidelines used for prioritizing factors, and
defending the solution option chosen. (high cognitive complexity)
Step 4:
Integrate, monitor, and refine strategies for re-addressing the problem.
This includes acknowledging limitations of chosen solution and developing an
ongoing process for generating and using new information. (highest cognitive
Benjamin Bloom's Model of Critical Thinking Perhaps most familiar
to educators is "BLOOM'S taxonomy." Benjamin Bloom describes the major
areas in the cognitive domain. The taxonomy begins by defining
Knowledge as the remembering of previously learned material.
Knowledge, according to Benjamin Bloom, represents the lowest level of
learning outcomes in the cognitive domain.

Comprehension, the ability to grasp the meaning of material and
goes just beyond the knowledge level. Comprehension is the lowest level of
Application is the next area in the hierarchy and refers to the ability to
use learned material in new and concrete principles and theories. Application
requires a higher level of understanding than comprehension.
Analysis, the next area of the taxonomy, the learning outcomes
require an understanding of both the content and the structural form of
Synthesis, which refers to the ability to put parts together to form a
new whole. Learning outcomes at this level stress creative behaviors with a
major emphasis on the formulation of new patterns or structures.
Evaluation. Evaluation is concerned with the ability to judge the
value of material for a given purpose. The judgments are to be based on
definite criteria. Learning outcomes in this area are the highest in the
cognitive hierarchy because they incorporate or contain elements of
knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, and synthesis. In addition,
they contain conscious value judgments based on clearly defined criteria. The
activity of inventing encourages the four highest levels of learning--
application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation--in addition to knowledge and


A simple structural model proposed by Jeffrey Ellis illustrates the
structural relationships between major components of critical thinking. It is
based on defining critical thinking as a set of four sets: CT = { {S}, {H}, {V},
{R} }

where {S} is a set of cognitive skills, {H} is a set of characteristic
habits or attitudes, {V} is a set of values/commitments, and {R} is a set of
relationships among the various elements in {S}, {H}, and {V.

The set of cognitive skills {S} include fundamental reasoning abilities

such as analysis, synthesis, logic, evaluation, interpretation, and so on.
The characteristic habits/attitudes {H} are the acquired behavior
patterns that distinguish a critical thinker from a non-critical thinker. These
are approximately equivalent to what Richard Paul has called the valuable
intellectual traits of a critical thinker: intellectual humility, intellectual
courage, intellectual empathy, intellectual integrity, intellectual perseverance,
faith in reason, and fair-mindedness.
The set of values/commitments, for a critical thinker, has but one element: a
commitment to the truth, or in cases where the truth is unknowable, a
commitment to the most defensible opinion. The relationships {R} between
the elements in this model are shown graphically Values/commitments
provide the foundation for critical thinking. It is the commitment to searching
for the truth that motivates the need for intellectual humility, empathy, and the
various other critical thinking traits, and these traits in turn regulate the way in

which cognitive skills are applied to form opinions, make decisions, and solve
Here are 16 basic techniques of critical thinking.
1. Clarify.
State one point at a time. Elaborate. Give examples. Ask others to
clarify or give examples. If you‘re not sure what you‘re talking about, you
can‘t address it.
2. Be accurate.
Check your facts.
3. Be precise.
Be precise, so you are able to check accuracy. Avoid generalizations,
euphemisms, and other ambiguity.
4. Be relevant.
Stick to the main point. Pay attention to how each idea is connected to
the main idea.
5. Know your purpose.
What are you trying to accomplish? What‘s the most important thing
here? Distinguish your purpose from related purposes.
6. Identify assumptions. All thinking is based on assumptions, however
7. Check your emotions.
Emotions only confuse critical thinking. Notice how your emotions
may be pushing your thinking in a certain direction.
8. Empathize.
Try to see things from your opponent‘s perspective. Imagine how
they feel. Imagine how you sound to them. Sympathize with the logic,
emotion, and experience of their perspective.
9. Know your own ignorance.

Each person knows less than 0.0001% of the available knowledge in
the world. Even if you know more about relevant issues than your opponent,
you still might be wrong. Educate yourself as much as possible, but still: be
10. Be independent.
Think critically about important issues for yourself. Don‘t believe
everything you read. Don‘t conform to the priorities, values, and perspectives
of others.
11. Think through implications.
Consider the consequences of your viewpoint.
12. Know your own biases.
Your biases muddle your thinking. Notice how they might be pushing
your thought toward a particular end, regardless of the logical steps it took to
get there.
13. Suspend judgment.
Critical thinking should produce judgments, not the other way around.
Don‘t make a decision and then use critical thinking to back it up. If anything,
use the method of science: take a guess about how things are and then try to
disprove it.
14. Consider the opposition.
Listen to other viewpoints in their own words. Seriously consider their
most persuasive arguments. Don‘t dismiss them.
15. Recognize cultural assumptions.
People from different times and cultures thought much differently
than you do. In fact, your ideas might have arrived only in the last 50 years of
human history! Why is your perspective better than that of everyone else in
the world today and throughout history?
16. Be fair, not selfish.
Each person‘s most basic bias is for themselves.

When a nurse uses intentional thinking, a relationship develops among
the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are ascribed to critical thinking and
clinical reasoning, the nursing process, and the problem-solving process.
Implementation of the nursing process provides nurses with a creative
approach to thinking and doing to obtain, categorize, and analyze client data
and plan actions that will meet the client’s needs. The nursing process is a
systematic, rational method of planning and providing individualized nursing
care. It begins with assessment Statement Description Example Facts Can be
verified through investigation Blood pressure is affected by blood volume.
Inferences Conclusions drawn from the facts; going beyond facts to make a
statement about something not currently known If blood volume is decreased
(e.g., in hemorrhagic shock), the blood pressure will drop. Judgments
Evaluation of facts or information that reflects values or other criteria; a type
of opinion It is harmful to the client’s health if the blood pressure drops too
low. Opinions Beliefs formed over time; include judgments that may fit facts
or be erroneous Nursing interventions can assist in maintaining the client’s
blood pressure within normal limits. Differentiating Types of Statements of
the client and use of clinical reasoning to identify client problems. The phases
of the nursing process are assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and
As far we discussed about introduction, definition,stages,
components,methods,process, techniques of critical thinking.
Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively
and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or
evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation,

experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and
action. It is an intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully
conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, or evaluating information
gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning,
or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
1..Jogindra vati.principles and practice of nursing management.first
edition.Jaypee publication.New delhi,2013

2...Alamelu Venketaraman.Newer trends in management of nursing service

and education.Jaypee publication.New Delhi.2017

3..Deepak K A comprehensive text book of nursing amnagement EMMES