How do you define critical thinking? It is a mental process that includes skillful perception, synthesis, analysis as well as evaluation of the collected information. Well-developed critical thinking is a must if a college or university student wants to succeed during his/her academic years. Today, there are many special programs and even exercises that are useful in improving cognitive skills – the ones that are set as the basis of critical thinking:
- information interpretation;
- data analysis;
- evaluation of new ideas;
- making a correct inference;
- explanation of own ideas and theories;
- mindful self-regulation.
These cognitive skills in critical thinking are essential for rather quick and effective learning. When the skills are well-developed and improved regularly, a person is capable of thinking abstractly, making some important decisions without problems as well as using logical reasoning.
What Are the Main Roles of Cognitive Skills?
Each one is said to play a vital role in processing new data. When, at least, one of the skills is weak, grasping, using and retaining the new information is influenced. Learning difficulties and struggles are proved to be provoked by cognitive skills that are weak.
The learning process is usually divided into four main parts:
- access to brand new data;
- critical thinking;
- judging from the personal perspective;
- using the new data to impact already gained knowledge.
As you see, cognitive learning and critical thinking go hand in hand. But what role do these cognitive skills play? One can name more than we have listed, but these ones are surely the core ones:
- enable to stay concentrated on any assignment for a certain time frame;
- enable to stay concentrated on any task for a certain time frame despite possible distractions;
- enable to keep in mind information when doing few tasks simultaneously;
- enable to recall the data that was remembered and stored before;
- enable to get back to the stored info when it is needed;
- enable to form new ideas, reason them as well as solve any problems;
- enable to analyze facts, blend notions, and even segment data;
- enable to think in various visual images;
- enable to do tasks quickly and rather accurately.
Enhancing Cognitive Skills
Is it possible to make these skills get better? Today, scientists keep looking for the answer to a question whether a human being can become rather intelligent. Some researchers believe that humans can’t make themselves much more intelligent, but they can make their brains function much better. If you work on your cognitive abilities and numerous skills, you will make it much easier to deal even with your everyday issues and not only school or college problems. You will definitely gain more confidence; however, your IQ won’t get raised.
There are critical thinking exercises that improve cognition. They teach how to form opinions, think critically, and sort out all the information deciding which is irrelevant. Scientists say that it is useful to argue with opponents to highlight the flaws of own thinking.
It is never too late to start working on cognitive skills that will surely help improve your critical thinking. But the sooner you begin, the greater success will be waiting for you ahead.