Peter Facione Critical Thinking What It Is And Why It Counts

This popular and often quoted essay about the meaning and importance of critical thinking was written by Dr. Peter Facione for students and the general public.

It invites readers to think about critical thinking, and in so doing, it provides a sound and research-based conceptual synthesis describing critical thinking skills and habits of mind. The emphasis in the essay, beyond the definition developed, is on the personally and socially significant uses of critical thinking. Civic engagement without critical thinking may be nothing but noise, polemics, and political deception. This essay is based on the Delphi Expert Consensus conceptualization of "critical thinking" articulated in the 1990 APA Delphi Research Report.

This updated edition expands the discussion of critical thinking by connecting it with recent work in cognitive science. It includes a discussion of several heuristic thinking strategies humans commonly use, identifying their potential advantages and their inherent potential biases. The essay talks about the two human problem-solving systems which appear to operate in parallel; one being more intuitive, reactive, and holistic decision-making, and the other being more reflective, procedural and rule-governed.

People of all ages and educational levels exhibit critical thinking to a greater or lesser degree.  Insight Assessment test instruments are used globally for all educational levels, kindergarten through doctorate and several professional fields, to evaluate the core critical thinking skills and habits of mind Dr. Facione describes in his essay.

Develop your critical thinking with THINK Critically, Facione & Gittens, Pearson Education, now in its 3rd edition.

Are you interested in assessing your own thinking skills?  Download our personal assessment app, Critical Thinking Insight from your app store.  Get started with the free sample reasoning skills questions and sample reasoning mindset items. Then challenge yourself with other purchasable tools included in the app for your self-evaluation and personal development.

  • For commercial or resale reprint permissions of the  APA Delphi Report or "Critical Thinking What It Is and Why It Counts"  contact Insight Assessment.


“critical thinking ” into one of his comedic monologue rants on the perils of trusting our lives and fortunes to the decision-making of people who were gullible, uninformed, and unreflective. Had he lived to experience the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009, he would have surely added more to his caustic but accurate assessments regarding how failing to anticipate the consequences of one’s decisions often leads to disastrous results not only for the decision maker, but for many other people as well. After years of viewing higher education as more of a private good which benefits only the student, we are again beginning to appreciate higher education as being also a public good which benefits society. Is it not a wiser social policy to invest in the education of the future workforce, rather than to suffer the financial costs and endure the fiscal and social burdens associated with economic weakness, public health problems, crime, and avoidable poverty? Perhaps that realization, along with its obvious advantages for high level strategic decision making, is what lead the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to comment on critical thinking in his commencement address to a graduating class of military officers. Teach people to make good decisions and you equip them to improve

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