Thinking and Critical Thinking

6 types of thinking skills

  • Ranked in order of complexity
  • Benjamin Bloom created a classification of thinking skills in the 1950s.
  1. Remembering and Recalling
    • Retrieving or repeating information or ideas from memory.
  2. Understanding
    • Interpreting, constructiong meaning, inferring, or explaining material from written, spoken, or graphic sources.
  3. Applying
    • Using learned material or implementing material in new situations.
  4. Analyzng
    • Breaking material or concepts into key elements and determining how the parts relate to one another or to an overall structure or purpose.
    • This skill includes mental actions such as examining, contrasting or differentiating, separating, categorizing, experimenting, and deducting.
  5. Evaluating
    • Assesing, making judgements, and drawing conclusins from ideas, information, or data.
    • Critiquing the value and usefulness of material.
  6. Creating
    • Putting parts together or reorganizing them in a new way, form, or product.

Critical thinking

  • a foundation for effective communication
  • the principal skill used in effective decision making
  • at the core of creating new knowledge
  • a way to uncover bias and prejudices


  1. What is the problem or issue I am considering really about?
    • What is the objectve?
    • A position?
    • A decision?
    • Am I deciding what candidate in an election will do a better overall job, or are you using the issue to establish your independence?
    • What are the terms related to the issue?
    • Do I agree with the proponent’s definitions?
  2. What are my options?
    • What are choices?
    • Agree? or disagree? A? or B?
  3. What do I know about each option?
  4. How good is my information?


  • starbursting
    • brainstorming new ideas by asking a lot of questions.

The latter of inference helps us to stop ourselves from jumping to conclusions about situations.

Ad populum means that the argument is based on everyone does it.