Most of us simply repeat opinions of others that we have read in the news, on the web and in magazines, yet developing your own way of critical thinking can help you progress in your career and personal life.
We explore a number of ways to think differently and develop your own opinion.
1. Avoid sources of conventional thought
If you’re looking for answers, don’t turn to Google, your local library or the TV straight away.
Try to restrict the amount of conventional opinion you consume. Limiting the amount of news and media you take in doesn’t mean that you have to cut yourself off from the goings-on in the world, it will simply enable you to form your own opinions and thoughts without being heavily influenced by others.
2. Confront and recognise your own biases
Confronting and recognising your own biases is a tough aspect to overcome when it comes to critical thinking. Everyone has biases, regardless of their background. To improve the way you develop your own opinion, you will need to look beyond the biases that act as a carrier of critical thinking.
3. Engage in new experiences
New experiences tend to change the way you think and approach things. They can change your perspective and expand your knowledge. Experiencing new cultures, trying new food and travelling somewhere different will all be beneficial in your approach to critical thinking, forcing you to adapt to new situations.
4. Question and fact-check sources
Ensure you have your facts straight before you form an opinion. Try to investigate and gather facts before forming an opinion fuelled by feelings and emotions. Start your research, talk to people and question whether the facts you uncover support your opinion.
Remember to always question your sources – especially ones on the Internet. If you suspect that there’s something ‘off’ about the statements made, question them!