When grounded in fairmindedness and intellectual integrity, it is typically of a higher order intellectually, though subject to the charge of "idealism" by those habituated to its selfish use.
Critical thinking of any kind is never universal in any individual; everyone is subject to episodes of undisciplined or irrational thought.
Its adoption as an educational goal has been recommended on the basis of respect for students’ autonomy and preparing students for success in life and for democratic citizenship.
“Critical thinkers” have the dispositions and abilities that lead them to think critically when appropriate.
They realize that no matter how skilled they are as thinkers, they can always improve their reasoning abilities and they will at times fall prey to mistakes in reasoning, human irrationality, prejudices, biases, distortions, uncritically accepted social rules and taboos, self-interest, and vested interest. But much of our thinking, left to itself, is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed or down-right prejudiced.
Yet the quality of our life and that of what we produce, make, or build depends precisely on the quality of our thought.It is thus to be contrasted with: 1) the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, because it involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated; 2) the mere possession of a set of skills, because it involves the continual use of them; and 3) the mere use of those skills ("as an exercise") without acceptance of their results.Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it.It also generally requires ability to recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems, to gather and marshal pertinent information, to recognize unstated assumptions and values, to comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discrimination, to interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments, to recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions, to draw warranted conclusions and generalizations, to put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives, to reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience, and to render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life.Critical thinking is a widely accepted educational goal.It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use.It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.Shoddy thinking is costly, both in money and in quality of life.Excellence in thought, however, must be systematically cultivated.Critical thinking is a rich concept that has been developing throughout the past 2,500 years.The term "critical thinking" has its roots in the mid-late 20th century.