Critical or criteria-based thinking is a systematically exercised effort to think clearly, rationally, and consciously about what to do or what to believe. Understood as a method, or an attitude towards oneself, others, and the surrounding reality, critical thinking relies on objective examination of assumptions (adopted rules of thumb), fallacies, and/or biases underlying current beliefs to assess their correctness and legitimacy, and thus to validate or invalidate the beliefs and/ or opinions. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking and decision making. As such, it combines skills and knowledge from the fields of philosophy, informal logic, and the study of language.

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