Critical thinking is the ability to think rationally and to think clearly. It means using the powers of logic and reason to draw robust conclusions and develop well-founded opinions. Many people consider themselves to be true rational thinkers. But in reality, none of us are.
Back in 2007 I was running a 2 day training programme with the Cadbury’s UK marketing team in one of the usual off-site locations. At the end the Marketing Director said to me, ‘do you mind if I show the team a new Dairy Milk ad that we’re thinking of running’. He put his CD into my laptop and played it on the big screen. It featured a man in a gorilla suit playing along to the Phil Collins song ‘In the Air Tonight’. And that was basically it. Then he turned to the room and asked ‘What do you think? Shall we run this?’’
Every day we’re bombarded with information via our twitter feeds, news sites and in-boxes. Being able to discern truth from fiction is a constant battle. To help us write persuasive reports, make informed decisions and to clarify our points of view on the world, an ability to spot flaws in arguments is essential. This is what to look out for.