Critical Thinking — The Key to Working Smarter

Do you want to become an innovative, thought-based organization? You need good thinkers. But what exactly does it mean to be a good critical thinker, and is there evidence linking better thinking with improved performance?

Critical thinking is the ability to see the world as it is – not the way others present it to us, or perhaps the way we would like it to be. When employees think critically, they make better decisions. They’re better at planning, innovating, solving problems, thinking strategically. This is what “working smarter” really means.

And that’s why leading-practice organizations actively measure and develop their employees critical thinking skills – from the front line to the C-Suite.

Critical Thinking Downloads & Resources

Critical Thinking Development Suite

Want to see everything we offer to develop your employees' thinking skills? Learn about our book, workshops, online courses, and job aids. Download our Critical Thinking Kit.

Critical Thinking: A Literature Review

Educators have long been aware of the importance of critical thinking skills as an outcome of student learning. Read Pearson's summary of critical thinking research to date.

Critical Thinking Is On Everyone's Mind

In recent years, countless studies have shown the importance of developing critical thinking ability. Here are some findings:

CT in Real Life

People with high scores on a critical thinking assessment are less likely to show biases in thinking common to many people, based on a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that cognitive ability predicted creativity, including number of patents produced.

Nurse educators with high scores on an assessment of critical thinking dispositions were the most likely to implement research knowledge into their daily practice.

In a study conducted by TalentLens, 80% of an organization's high performers came from those who scored in the desired range on a battery of Watson-Glaser combined with a personality test.

According to a recent study in the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, encouraging and supporting the development and use of critical thinking dispositions among nurse managers can create a practice environment that's conducive to staff RNs' job satisfaction and retention.

Read more studies.

Watch People Answering "What is Critical Thinking?"