Scholarly Articles About Critical Thinking


Critical Thinking and introduction to the basic skills by William Hughes
1992 Broadview Press Ltd.
Lewiston, NY
Isbn 1-921149-73-2

The primary focus of critical thinking skills is on determining whether arguments are sound, i.e. whether they have true premises and logical strength.But determining the soundness of arguments is not a simple matter, for three reasons.First, before we can assess an argument we must determine its precise meaning. Second, determining the truth or falsity of statements is often a difficult task. Third, assessing argument is complex because there are several different types of inferences and each type requires a different kind of assessment.

There three types of skills—

interpretive skills, verification skills, and reason skills—constitutes what are usually referred to as critical thinking skills.

mastering critical thinking skills is also a matter of intellectual self-respect.  We all have the capacity to learn how to distinguish good arguments from bad ones and to work out for ourselves what we ought and ought not to believe, and it diminishes us as persons if we let others do our thinking for us.  If we are not prepared to think for ourselves, and to make the effort to learn how do this well, we will always remain slaves to the ideas and values of others and to our own ignorance. P. 11


Argumentation and Debate Critical thinking for reasoned decision Making
Austin J. Freeley and David L. Steinberg
10th edition 2000 Wadsworth/Thomson Learning Belmont, CA
Isbn 0-534-46115-2


Critical thinking:   the ability to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas; to reason inductively and deductively; and to reach factual or judgmental conclusions based on sound inferences drawn from unambiguous statements of knowledge or belief.    P. 458


Author: Theresa Rienzo, Reference Librarian,James Edward Tobin Library, Molloy College 1000 Hempstead Ave. Rockville Centre, NY  11571

The sources highlighted here include textbooks, literature reviews, and meta-analyses related to critical thinking. These contributions come from both psychological (Halpern 2003; Nisbett 1993; Sternberg, et al. 2007) and philosophical (Ennis 1962, Facione 1990) perspectives. Many of these general overviews are textbooks (Facione 2011b; Halpern 2003; Nisbett 1993; Sternberg, et al. 2007), while the other sources are review articles or commentaries. Most resources were intended for a general audience, but Sternberg, et al. 2007 was written specifically to address critical thinking in psychology. Those interested in a historical reference are referred to Ennis 1962, which is credited by some as renewing contemporary interest in critical thinking. Those interested in a more recent conceptualization of critical thinking are referred to Facione 2011a, which is a short introduction to the field of critical thinking that would be appropriate for those new to the field, or Facione 1990, which summarizes a collaborative definition of critical thinking among philosophers using the Delphi method. Facione 2011b would be a valuable resource for philosophers teaching critical thinking or logic courses to general audiences. For psychologists teaching critical thinking courses to a general audience, Halpern 2003, an empirically based textbook, covers a wide range of topics; a new edition is expected soon. Fisher 2001 is also intended for general audiences and teaches a wide variety of critical thinking skills. Nisbett 1993 tackles the question of whether critical thinking skills can be taught and provides ample empirical evidence to that end. Sternberg, et al. 2007 is a good resource for psychology students interested in learning how to improve their scientific reasoning skills, a specific set of thinking skills needed by psychology and other science students.

  • Ennis, Robert H. 1962. A concept of critical thinking: A proposed basis of research in the teaching and evaluation of critical thinking. Harvard Educational Review 32:81–111.

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    A discussion of how critical thinking is conceptualized from a philosopher’s perspective. Critical of psychology’s definition of critical thinking at the time. Emphasizes twelve aspects of critical thinking.

  • Facione, Peter A. 1990. Critical thinking: A statement of expert consensus for purposes of educational assessment and instruction; Executive Summary of The Delphi Report. Millbrae, CA: California Academic Press.

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    Describes the critical thinking movement, definitions of critical thinking agreed upon by philosophers using the Delphi method, the assessment of critical thinking, and how critical thinking can be taught.

  • Facione, Peter A. 2011a. Critical thinking: What it is and why it counts. Millbrae, CA: Insight Assessment.

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    This accessible paper defines critical thinking, elaborates on specific critical thinking skills, and discusses what it means to have (or not have) a critical thinking disposition. A distinction is made between system 1 (shallow processing) and system 2 (deeper processing) thinking. Good resource for students new to the field.

  • Facione, Peter A. 2011b. THINK critically. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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    Written from a philosophical perspective this critical thinking textbook emphasizes the application of critical thinking to the real world and offers positive examples of critical thinking. Chapters cover inductive, deductive, comparative, ideological, and empirical reasoning

  • Fisher, Alec. 2001. Critical thinking: An introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    Textbook intended for college students discusses various types of reasoning, causality, argument analysis, and decision making. Includes exercises for students and teachers.

  • Halpern, Diane F. 2003. Thought & knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking. 4th ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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    This textbook, written by a cognitive psychologist, is grounded in theory and research from the learning sciences and offers practical examples. Chapters include an introduction to the topic and the correlates of critical thinking, memory, thought and language, reasoning, analyzing arguments, thinking as hypothesis testing, likelihood and uncertainty, decision making, development of problem-solving skills, and creative thinking.

  • Nisbett, Richard E. 1993. Rules for reasoning. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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    This text is rich with empirical evidence that critical thinking skills can be taught to undergraduate and graduate students. Each chapter discusses research on an aspect of reasoning (e.g., statistical reasoning, heuristics, inductive reasoning) with special emphasis on teaching the application of these skills to everyday problems.

  • Sternberg, Robert J., Henry L. Roediger III, and Diane F. Halpern, eds. 2007. Critical thinking in psychology. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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    This edited book explores several aspects of critical thinking that are needed to fully understand key topics in psychology such as experiment research, statistical inference, case studies, logical fallacies, and ethical judgments. Experts discuss the critical thinking strategies they engage in. Interesting discussion of historical breakthroughs due to critical thinking.

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