To begin with, let us mention that “thinking” is the most important of all human abilities, because due to this extraordinary ability there appeared Homo sapiens that is considered to be the king of nature today. This does not mean that other inhabitants of our planet do not think, it means that our way of thinking is far more developed and perfected. Thinking includes a number of types such as creative, persuasive, emotional, convergent, inductive thinking etc.
In this paper our task is to compare and analyze three types of thinking: creative, persuasive and emotional thinking and to describe their connection with critical thinking.
First of all, let us make the idea of critical thinking clear. It often happens that when we hear this word combination, our reaction is negative, because it awakens some unpleasant feelings, but this way of perception of “critical thinking” is wrong, because it does not mean that to think critically means to disapprove of something. In fact, critical thinking means skilled interpretation and evaluation of information. According to Matthew Lipman (2003), “Critical thinking is applied thinking. Therefore, it is not just process – it seeks to develop a product” (p. 211). The same author also stated,” Critical thinking can provide a degree of protection against the less subtle forms of brainwashing” (Lipman, 2003, p. 209). According to Diane F. Halpern (2003), “The information glut and the constantly changing workplace are not the only reasons why critical thinking is more critical now than at any previous time in history” (p. 3). Today human race is extremely powerful, so we should keep in mind that every decision we make is sure to influence out planet, our society and out descendants. That is why we are to think critically.
Now let us analyze creative thinking in its connection with critical thinking. Creative thinking is the process that takes place when we generate a new idea. Today creative thinking is greatly encouraged in educational process. A personality, the inner world and mental abilities may be developed due to creative thinking. This type of thinking may be regarded as the engine of progress. But here we are to be careful; creativity should be controlled by critical thinking to a certain extent. Otherwise, the results of our creativity may be unpredictable. The process that unites these two forms of thinking is brainstorming when a group of people is generating an idea that is analyzed and criticized at once. It is commonly known, that this technique is very popular today especially in educational establishments.
Speaking about persuasive thinking, it should be mentioned that it can help the acquisition and development of critical thinking skills, because it teaches a person to create his/her own alternative to problems instead of merely analyzing those created by others. In our society one should use creativity and be persuasive in order to obtain success.
Finally, we are to establish the connection between critical thinking and emotional thinking. We know that critical thinking it characterized by such features as logicality, credibility, accuracy and precision. All of them are far from emotions. But it does not mean that emotional thinking is absolutely worthless and should be ignored. It sometimes happens that new smart ideas appear under the influence of emotion, but they should be checked and analyzed objectively. If this idea stands the check of critical thinking, it means that it is deserves attention.
On the whole, we should keep in mind that all types of thinking are necessary. They may be used separately or in complex depending on the situation.
Halpern, D. F. (2003). Thought & Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Lipman, M. (2003). Thinking in Education. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.