We see only what we are prepared to see..

Critical thinking… it’s too critical.. Rightly said by Pooja. What is it, how do we do it, why is it essential, and how can we get better at it? Too many questions with no precise answers.

It’s like turning into a critique of your thinking. This enables us to analyze the way we think and present evidence for our ideas, rather than simply accepting our own personal reasoning as sufficient proof.

Today our lives are driven by too much information available and technology, which requires us to deal with changes quickly and effectively, It becomes important for us to separate facts from opinions, to evaluate a problem from with different perspectives, to make rational inferences and to withhold personal judgment or biases.. It’s too tricky; it can be developed gradually but requires a lot of an individual’s efforts. Despite the fact that we do all these things there is no surety that our choice will be the right selection.

Then how do we get better at critical thinking? Through asking questions?? What do we already know? How do we know that? What are we trying to prove, disprove, demonstrated, critique, etc.? But sometimes the answers are so complex that the questions get lost. It takes us back to our question to start the reasoning process again.

To become better, it is also important to be aware of our prejudices and biases. A huge list to find one for myself. After going through the list, it seems all are working for me in different ways, influencing seemingly the decisions and probable solutions. The one working for me in most the cases is a negativity bias which says that our thoughts, decisions, judgement are more influenced by negative experiences than the positive ones. Regardless of the possibility that there are 99 positive encounters; one negative experience impacts my judgment. It is just because that the negative information was typically more intensely weighted in my mind.

Another is “Loss aversion” – While I was reading Aditya’s recent G+ post on investing in mutual funds, I realized that because of this bias, I don’t want to invest in it. Just to avoid losses than making gains. Negativity bias is also playing a role here as I have seen people loosing their money in the stock market. Again, I have not taken into account when they made profits out of it. But now, I will try it out once or find any other way of saving money than keeping in the bank as he said, keeping money in the bank is equally risky in case of bankruptcy but again thinking that what are the chances of it?



  • Ritu, my story is different. I want to invest in equity but lack of knowledge stops me from doing it. I think having a fixed deposit in bank locks your money. A different perspective based on different experiences and paradigms.

  • So rightly said…while writing about the biases, I was struck with these two biases(they seemed just so tempting….lol) and that’s what made me think that which one is best suited for me.

    Last week, I was talking to a friend of mine who was trying his best to explain me or rather convince me to invest my money somewhere and try to increase it. I ended up saying…isme to hamesha loss hii hota hai, without realizing that there are so many people who have made profits as well 🙂

  • While reading your post, one question came to my mind,

    While making decision, to what extent does critical thinking ensure positive outcome.

  • Priyanka Vijay Chhabra

    I completely agree- we are stuck with our biases and prejudices and changing our thoughts and thinking beyond is quite difficult task.
    I wonder is it possible to change our thought process for a long run??

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