8 Characteristics of Critical Thinkers

If you’re hoping to reach your full potential and make your mark on the world, cultivate the following 8 characteristics of critical thinkers.

1. Analytical thinking

The best analytical thinkers are also critical thinkers, and vice versa. The ability to analyze information is key when looking at any almost anything, whether it is a contract, report, business model or even a relationship.

Analyzing information means to break information down to its component parts and evaluate how well those parts function together and separately. Analysis relies on observation; on gathering and evaluating evidence so you can come to a meaningful conclusion. Analytical thinking begins with objectivity.

2. Objectivity

Good critical thinkers are able to stay as objective as possible when looking at information or a situation. They focus on facts, and on the scientific evaluation of the information at hand. Objective thinkers seek to keep their emotions (and those of others) from affecting their judgment.

However, it’s impossible for people to remain completely objective, because we’re all shaped by our points of view, our life experiences and our perspectives. Being aware of our biases is the first step to being objective and looking at an issue dispassionately. Once you’re able to remove yourself from the situation, you can more thoroughly analyze it.

3 Ways to Learn Anything Faster and Better

1. Be adventurous

According to a researcher, learning becomes more effective (rather than it being passive) by exploring different locations. It is also connected to the fact that learning does not solely happen within the four corners of a room. Sometimes you have to exert an effort to explore different work places to see how it can benefit you in terms of retention and absorption of information.

Science explains that different environmental cues can be associated to a certain material or skill that you’re trying to learn which makes it easier to recall later on.

2. Don’t "overlearn"

People may feel that the longer you practice a certain skill, the more you’ll be good at it. Oftentimes, it leads to what we call "overlearning". Science belies this as it discovered that taking regular breaks will enhance one’s overall productivity as well as focus.

Another study reveals how "distributed practice" or breaking up learning into short sessions could be more beneficial as compared to exhausting so much time and effort.


Ken Robinson. Changing Education Paradigms