Critical Thinking: Nine Strategies for Everyday Life

Categories: PsychologyThinking
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The majority of people are not vital thinkers by nature. It takes years of practice and dedication to become an extremely efficient and efficient vital thinker. In order to establish the right frame of mind in ending up being a vital thinker there are specific stages that can be followed to assist students practice their crucial thinking skills. “Phase one: The Unreflective Thinker” this stage involves trainees who are unaware of any problems that they may have in the crucial believing procedure (Paul and Senior Citizen, 2000, p.

1). “Phase 2: The Challenged Thinker” this is the phase where the students begin to end up being familiar with any issues they might have in the vital believing procedure (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.

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1). “Phase Three: The Starting Thinker” in this phase the student starts to enhance their skills but without much practice (Paul and Senior, 2000, p. 1).

“Phase Four: The Practicing Thinker” here the trainee begins to understand the significance of practicing their important thinking abilities (Paul and Elder, 2000, p. 1). “Phase 5: The Advanced Thinker” development is straight associated with practice. The more the trainee practices the more innovative he/she becomes (Paul and Senior Citizen, 2000, p. 2). “Phase Six: The Master Thinker” at this stage, the trainee starts to end up being a highly proficient vital thinker and it becomes 2nd nature (Paul and Senior Citizen, 2000, p. 2). A question a student might desire to ask themselves is, what phase best fits me? And, how can I enhance myself to end up being a more skilled crucial thinker?

These stages are useless unless a student is willing to accept the fact that there is some deficit in their critical thinking skills.

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In order to help students progress through the rankings of these stages, a list of nine strategies has been devised to aid in the student’s progress. “Strategy #1: Use “Wasted” Time” a countless number of hours are wasted every day (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.2). This is wasted time that could have been used to improve your critical thinking skills. A student must be able to recognize when the time they are using is wasted or productive. When an individual acquires this skill, the wasted time can be put to further the individual’s critical thinking development. “Strategy #2: A Problem A Day” a student must pick a problem that can be thought out thoroughly each day (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.3). This can be done on the way to work, in the shower, or when one finds that they are wasting time. Completely think out the question and suggest solutions to possibly remedy the problem. “Strategy #3: Internalize Intellectual Standards” Some examples of universal intellectual standards are, clarity, precision, logicalness, and accuracy (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.3). Once a week a student must take one of these standards and use it in everyday situations.

For example, a student might want to use logicalness and apply it to every day life. This can be applied to every task the student is performing in order to see if it is being performed in a logical manner. “Strategy #4 Keep an Intellectual Journal” a written record of a students critical thinking experiences will be helpful in allowing the student to refer back to specific techniques that were the most productive (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.4). “Strategy #5: Reshape Your Character” A student must take one personal trait such as empathy, and apply it to their everyday life (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.5). “Strategy #6: Deal with Your Egocentrism” (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.6) it is human nature for an individual to think in terms of ones self (Gelfand et. al., 2002). A student must devise a way to be aware of this type of thinking in order to minimize egocentric actions. “Strategy #7: Redefine the Way You See Things” (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.6) students consistently bombard themselves with negative thoughts about themselves, the world, and their work.

A student must lean how to turn these negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Only then will he/she be more productive in every aspect of their life. “Strategy #8: Get in Touch with Your Emotions” a student must turn negative emotions into positive (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.6). One good example is to try to find the humorous side of an occasion that might otherwise make you angry or upset (Paul and Elder, 2000). “Strategy #9: Analyze Group Influence on your Life” individuals tend to give in to group influences (Paul and Elder, 2000, p.7). A student must learn to read these influences and make a decision on what action needs to be taken.

In order to become a more proficient critical thinker a student must remember these three main points. First, evaluate yourself honestly in order to realize what area needs improvement, only then can you begin to improve. Second, practice makes perfect, in order to become a master of any skill a certain amount of practice is needed in any field. Third, once a student becomes a proficient critical thinker, keep exploring new ideas in order to improve.

These steps and strategies can also be applied to the research field. In research, scientific reading and writing is an everyday process. Critical thinking is a skill that every scientist must have in order to excel in their work environment. All these strategies can be used in order to improve the critical thinking skills of every employee.


Elder, L. & Paul, R. (2000). Critical Thinking: Nine strategies for everyday life. Journal of

Developmental Education, 24, 40-42. Retrieved November 2, 2003, from:

Gelfand MJ, Higgins M, Nishii LH, Raver JL, Alexandria D, Murakami F., et al. (2002).

Culture and egocentric perceptions of fairness in conflict and negotiation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 5, 833-845.

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Critical Thinking: Nine Strategies for Everyday Life. (2016, Jun 27). Retrieved from

Critical Thinking: Nine Strategies for Everyday Life

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