Just to begin with, it is prudent to note that each individual think. However, there are different levels of thinking; that is critical thinking and the regular thinking. The term critical thinking refers to a higher order thinking which entails the use of tools of analysis also known as the tools of critical thinking in order to discern what is true and what is false. Good critical thinking must meet the following criteria: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, good reason, depth, breadth, fairness and relevance.
This implies that critical thinking is the process of thinking clearly with precision and accuracy, thinking carefully with logic and depth and by thinking open-mindedly through examining points of view taking into account assumptions and biases within a given point. Critical thinking is very different from the normal thinking process. The normal thinking process focuses on information: data, facts and examples and ideas; positions and opinions. On the other hand, critical thinking focuses on ideas: assumptions, flaws in reasoning, point of view, implications, biases, implications among others.
The goal of the normal thinking is to form an opinion about what an individual is thinking about while the goal of critical thinking is to apply a criteria in forming a conclusion about what an individual have been thinking about and how such an individual have been thinking about it.
It is prudent to note that there are certain things which may affect an individual ability to think critically. These factors include memory distortions such as the availability and the accessibility heuristics, the illusion of truth and the classical conditioning. These factors might negatively affect our ability to critically make decisions or accept the validity of the argument. For instance, classical conditioning interferes with the ability of the individual to make critical and valid argument. Classical conditioning makes an individual to develop an informed decision which may be very difficult to break down. It makes one to believe in particular thing for quite a long period of time. It will be very difficult to influence one who has been influenced by the classical conditioning to think in particular way. This implies that classical conditioning negatively affect an individual ability to think critically or to make an informed decision.
The illusion of truth also affects an individual’s ability to think critically. Truth can be categorised into two: objective truth and subjective truth. Objective truth refers to truth regardless of viewer. On the other hand, subjective truth varies from an individual to individual. Subjective truth limits an individual ability to think critically. This is because, subjective truth makes an individual to develop an opinion that what he/she believes in is the valid truth without necessarily applying the tools of critical thinking so as to validate whether his/her vie is true or false.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that there are certain thoughts of an individual who speak one language that cannot be understood by the individuals speaking another language. According to his hypothesis, the way people think is strongly influenced by their native language. The second version of his hypothesis states that the structure of a language can strongly influence or determine someone’s world view. The term world view in this context describes hopefully consistent and integral sense of existence and also provides a theoretical framework for generating, sustaining and applying knowledge. His third hypothesis version states that the semantic systems of the different languages vary without constraint. From the three hypotheses, version three is more correct because the semantic system of the different languages vary though without constraint.