Click for Site Map and Index home
Critical Thinking Habits of the Mind

Scheffer and Rubenfeld state that critical thinking is an essential component of professional accountability. These also give critical thinking habits that ca apply to any discipline. These habits are show below.


  • Assurance of one's reasoning abilities

Contextual Perspective
  • Consideration of the whole situation, including relationships, background, and environment, relevant to some happening

  • Intellectual inventiveness used to generate, discover, or restructure ideas, imagining alternatives

  • Capacity to adapt, accommodate, modify, or change thoughts, ideas, and behaviors

  • An eagerness to know by seeking knowledge and understanding through observation and thoughtful questioning in order to explore possibilities and alternatives

Intellectual Integrity
  • Process of seeking the truth through sincere, honest means, even if the results are contrary to one's assumptions and beliefs

  • Insightful sense of knowing without conscious use of reason

  • A viewpoint characterized by being receptive to divergent views and sensitive to one's biases

  • Pursuit of a course with determination to overcome obstacles

  • Contemplation of a subject, especially one's assumptions and thinking, for the purposes of deeper understanding and self-evaluation

Adapted from R. W. Paul, Critical Thinking (Santa Rosa, Calif.: Foundation for Critical Thinking, 1992).