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Barriers to Critical Thinking - Essay Example

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Critical thinking refers to an objective, intelligent, skillful, active and rational evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of information gotten from experience, communication, reasoning, observation and reflection. Indeed, critical thinking is a very important quality that every…
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Barriers to Critical Thinking
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Barriers to Critical Thinking Barriers to Critical Thinking Critical thinking refers to an objective, intelligent, skillful, activeand rational evaluation, analysis, and synthesis of information gotten from experience, communication, reasoning, observation and reflection. Indeed, critical thinking is a very important quality that every person should posses because it is paramount for informed and proper decision making. Nevertheless, critical thinking is often hindered by a wide range of barriers. This paper analyzes how effective critical thinking is prevented by family and emotions.
Family can act as a barrier to effective critical thinking because it encourages group-entered thinking. Meaning, it deprives individuals of an opportunity of making their own independent decisions. Instead, it compels them to conform to certain behaviors and standards accepted by the family. Unfortunately, this happens even if not the best approach to adopt is. For example, a family might require all its members to abide by certain traditions and practices that do not necessarily suit all its members (Elder & Richard, 2006). In this situation, everyone would have to behave and think in a certain manner regardless of its relevance, and objectivity thus ending up making decisions without critically thinking about them. So, family can be a great obstacle to critical thinking because it does not allow everyone to make their individual decisions based on their reflection, reason and understanding. As the saying goes, “When everyone thinks alike, no one thinks very much” (Cederblom & Paulsen, 2006). Group-centered thinking is not objective as it is promptly don e without creating enough time to think and deliberate over the issue of concern. To prevent such a problem, I would have to be autonomous in my thoughts and decisions.
On the other hand, critical thinking can be harmed by emotions. Once a person is overwhelmed by emotional distress, one can not make a rational decision because it does not provide a conducive environment to do so. Emotional feelings such as stress can result into prejudice, stereotypes, arrogance and intolerance. All these can prevent a person from making a critical and objective decision as this needs to be done when one is in a sober and relaxed condition (Hendricks, 2005). For example, when a person is seriously distressed, he can not get an ample opportunity to sit down, reason, reflect and make proper decisions. Instead, they will be acting under pressure to hurriedly make a decision without thinking about it. Personally, when faced with such a situation, I would take my time to relax my mind and eliminate any stressful condition that might force me to make irrational decisions.
In conclusion, critical thinking is key to rational and informed decision making. However, barriers such as family and emotion can greatly harm it. As explained, these barriers can hinder a person from critically thinking before making a proper decision that can be relied upon to provide a solution to a problem at hand. So, to be on a safer side, everyone should be ready to eliminate any barrier that might act as an obstacle to proper decision making.
Cederblom, J & Paulsen, D.W. (2006) Critical Reasoning: Understanding and criticizing
arguments and theories, 6th edn. Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth.
Elder, L. & Richard, P. (2006) Critical Thinking Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and
Your Life, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Publishing.
Hendricks, V. (2005) Thought 2 Talk: A Crash Course in Reflection and Expression. New York:
Automatic Press. Read More
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