[C07] Critical thinking assessment

Module: Critical thinking

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The force of the temptation which urges us to seek for such evidence and appearances as are in favour of our desires, and to disregard those which oppose them, is wonderfully great.

- Michael Faraday

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There are different psychological tests that are used to evaluate critical thinking skills. The more popular ones are usually standardized tests that can be benchmarked against a larger sample.

  • Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) - The standard version consists of multiple choice questions for an hour-long test. There are two versions (A & B) that are supposed to be equivalent and so can be used to measure changes in critical thinking over a period of time.
  • California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) - A more recent test that can also be completed online, with sub-scores for different categories such as analysis, inference, induction, etc.
  • California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) - Designed to "designed to measure the disposition to engage problems and make decisions using critical thinking."
  • The Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment (HCTA) - Focuses on five dimensions of critical thinking: verbal reasoning, argument analysis, thinking as hypothesis testing, likelihood and uncertainty, and decision making and problem solving.
  • Cornell Critical Thinking Tests - There are two levels. Assessment topics include: induction, deduction, credibility, identification of assumptions, etc.
  • Related to the assessment of critical thinking, there is also the interesting Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT), which consists of only 3 short questions. It provides a measurement of rational and reflective thinking. We have a copy of the CRT test on our web site here.
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