Critical thinking

Graduate students, do you hear the term “critical thinking” and wonder-What does that mean and how exactly do I do that? Critical thinking is having healthy skepticism to ask hard questions and the intellectual honesty to seek out, accept, and act on the best answers. Examples:

1: When generating a researching idea: Is the problem I’m trying to solve really a problem that needs solving? Is this approach really better than what others have done? Is it really the best way to solve the problem?

2: When designing an experiment: Is this the best way to do the experiment or just the easiest? What is most likely to go wrong, and what can I do to prevent that or move forward when it happens?

3: When analyzing data: What could be happening that give me theses data, but is not what I actually want? What other possibilities might make the data look like this? What control experiments do I need to tell the difference?