It also means being willing to change your ideas and conclusions -- and actions -- if an objective view shows that they're wrong or ineffective. In health, human service, and community work, the main goal of thinking critically is almost always to settle on an action that will have some desired effect.
Daunting because it makes us responsible for our attitudes and liberating because we have the power to choose our perspective, mood and thoughts.Ultimately, if you persist, you'll have a new perspective on the event itself, and will have broken through to a more critical understanding.The word "critical" here means approaching everything as if you were a critic -- questioning it, analyzing it, putting it in context, looking at its origins. "Everything" includes yourself: thinking critically includes identifying, admitting, and examining your own assumptions and prejudices, and understanding how they change your reactions to and your interpretation of information.They're all right to an extent: critical thinking is all of these things, and more.Critical thinking is the process of examining, analyzing, questioning, and challenging situations, issues, and information of all kinds.Next, you might want to consider the official's biases.What party does this politician belong to, and what's that party's position on pollution regulation?For that matter, when did government regulation start? Perhaps even more important, who will benefit if these ideas are accepted? What will the result be if things are changed in the direction this politician suggests? If you ask the kinds of questions suggested here when you see new information, or consider a situation or a problem or an issue, you're using critical thinking.Critical thinking is tremendously important in health, human service, and community work because it allows you to understand the actual issues involved, and to come up with an approach that is likely to address them effectively. Some see it as a particular way of handling information.What's the record of private industry over the last 10 years in cleaning up its own pollution without government intervention, for instance?What does pollution look like now, as compared to before the government regulated it?