Books About Critical Thinking

“I don’t have time to think!”. This cliché is at the core of troubled and underperforming workplaces around the globe. In reality, thinking is the most important driver in problem-solving, decision-making, and creativity, and no business can do without it. In daily life and at all levels of an organization, the ability to think critically sets us apart from those who struggle to problem solve. As seasoned critical thinking consultant Michael Kallet explains, solving difficult problems isn’t magic—it’s a skill we can all learn by using the simple techniques in Think Smarter.

For the past decade, Kallet has been training people to think critically. In Think Smarter, he reveals the techniques that lead to higher quality and outside the box results. Contrary to popular belief, critical thinking does not take a lifetime to master. You can quickly learn how to get better results from your thought processes. The problems that really matter are the ones with no obvious solution. To move forward in life and in business, you need to meet these challenges with stronger decisions and more creative solutions. Thanks to the exercises and examples in Think Smarter, this is a goal you can achieve starting today.

No one has time for neuroscience when there are important goals that need to be achieved. The world won’t stop turning while we wade through theory, so innovations and improvements need to happen fast. Think Smarter is not a book of theory. It’s a clear, easy to read set of over 25 concrete tools that you can put to use right away. Solving technical problems, allocating resources, managing teams, working with customers, optimizing risk—critical thinking can revolutionize all of these areas. No matter who you are or what you do, your decisions make a difference. The quality and magnitude of that difference depends on one thing—critical thinking.

Thinking drives absolutely everything we do. It’s the first step toward critical decisions that determine the winners and losers in every industry, and it even influences what we get out of life. In Think Smarter, you’ll learn that if you aren’t thinking critically, you might as well be letting someone else live life for you. The bottom line is, if you want to maximize your chances for success in the areas that matter, and take control of the results, you need to learn to Think Smarter.

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In this post, we look at the 10 best books on critical thinking. Critical thinking is one of the most important skills anyone could have. Therefore, improving your critical thinking skills should be a priority for everyone. Critical thinking means making logical and reasoned judgment based on analysis and facts.

In other words, it is thinking in a way that doesn’t accept all conclusions, rather by pushing yourself to find your own reasonable conclusions. As I’m sure you can agree we can all lack some critical thinking skills at times. One really good way to develop those skills is through reading books on critical thinking. In this post, we look at the top 10 books on critical thinking.

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10 Best Books On Critical Thinking

1. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman


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Thinking fast and slow is a New York Times bestseller and has achieved a number of awards including the national academy of sciences best book award 2012, A Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011 Title, and many others. The reasons for the book’s popularity is that it is actually an astounding book that really does force us to think more rationally. It presents the information in a way that gives us many ‘aha’ moments. If you want to improve your thought process and be more in control of your behavior then this book is essential. As you can guess from the title the book is based on the idea of thinking fast, and slow. By being aware of these two systems our minds have we can, in turn, become more effective thinkers.

2. Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument (2nd Edition) by Stella Cottrell


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This book is very well written and enlightening, The author really does know how to gain and keep your attention throughout the book, which of course is just as important as content. Speaking of content, the book covers a vast range of topics which makes it well worth its price. The author of the book Stella Cottrell talks about topics such as how to develop deep reflective skills, how to construct arguments more effectively and how to improve critical analysis. Overall it’s definitely one of the best books on critical thinking. Certainly one of the best books on critical thinking.

3. Critical Thinking: Proven Strategies to Improve Decision Making Skills, Increase Intuition And Think Smarter by Simon Bradley and Nicole Price


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The authors of this book, Simon Bradley and Nicole Price really have developed an extremely helpful guide to critical thinking strategies. The book is very practical, in the sense that the tips taught can be implemented easily yet they can also have a very positive effect on your life. Being a critical thinker can give you many advantages especially when it comes to making tough decisions. This book highlights these points and provides discussion on why and how this is the case. If your looking for a book that will push you towards a life change, or even just to give you a new perspective on things then ‘Critical Thinking: Proven Strategies To Improve Decision Making Skills, Increase Intuition And Think Smarter’ is a good choice for you.

4. The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger


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Another one of the best books on critical thinking. The 5 elements of critical thinking is a guide on how to effectively become more successful through better thinking. The author Edward B. Burger, who comes from a mathematical background, provides us with lively, practical and inspiring ways to achieve this. The books talk about how highly effective people aren’t any different to less effective people, they simply use their minds differently. The book is short however it is straight to the point. The author of this book essentially provides us with creative simple and effective ways to ‘think outside the box’.

5. Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely


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This book is very eye-opening, deep and readable. Behaving irrationally is part of human nature, the author goes into this topic further. As humans we do not make decisions that are economically rational, rather our behaviors are ruled by emotional and psychological states. The author references interesting studies that further illustrate his point. One negative about this book is that sometimes it doesn’t get to the point as quickly as you would like.

6. Critical Thinking: A Beginner’s Guide to Critical Thinking, Better Decision Making, and Problem Solving by  Jennifer Wilson


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This book by Jennifer Wilson gives us a great introduction to the world of critical thinking. It gives us the fundamental processes which will eventually lead us towards better decision making and problem-solving. The author of this book explains to us that in order to solve problems in our lives, both big and small then it is essential for us to think clearly and to make perfect decisions at the right time. This book teaches us the steps we need in order to do that.

7. Asking the Right Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking (11th Edition) by M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keeley


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This book aims to essentially bridge the gap between simply memorizing information and actually critically analyzing that information. In other words, this book aims to teach us how to think critically by exploring the different components of conclusions, issues and conflicts, facts, reasons, and so on. This book is great as an introduction to the subject of critical thinking because it actually takes us step by step through the entire process. Without missing out any details. This is great for someone who is new to the topic.

8. A Rulebook for Arguments by Anthony Weston


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This book by Anthony Weston is a great ‘How to’ book for anyone who wants to get better at using evidence and reasoning to support a point of view. The advice in the book is both clear and concise. It is also very practical. The information in the book is delivered in a way that is logical and straight to the point. This is very impressive from the author’s point of view as other books would have delivered the same information in a lot more pages. Overall it is a good read.

9. How to Think About Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age (7th Edition) by Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn


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If you are looking for a book that will give you an entirely new way of thinking then ‘how to think about weird things: critical thinking for the new age’ is for you. The book is really interesting and as the title suggests, the book will test your critical thinking and will push you towards ‘weird thing.

10. Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills by Michael Kallet


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This book by Michael Kallet is a great book for a number of reasons. For instance: the book is approachable, concise and offers practical advice that you can use in real life situations. The book is not only great as a reference, it also motivates you to think differently. There are many tips and tricks throughout the book and they really do help someone who is looking to get into the subject of critical thinking.

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