Critical thinking is a metacognitive process1, when a person reflects about his own thinking. It means that mastering critical thinking can help you fight cognitive biases. Using metacognitive approach you can trace how cognitive biases influence your thought processes and understand how to reduce their influence. Of course one can reduce influence of cognitive biases without understanding what they do, and it will work. The problem is that this approach would be limited in its application, because many cognitive biases influence different thought processes, so in different situations the same cognitive bias may need different approaches. But a person may use the same heuristics to fight a bias, so it would work only from time to time.
In the same time if you understand how cognitive biases work you can track effectiveness of your countermeasures and adjust them as needed. I can compare possible outcomes on an example of the framing effect. Imagine a person who doesn’t know how it works in details, who only informed about one of its definition. So if this person knows that people differently perceive loss and gain, he may want to reformulate all problems with a loss frame using a gain frame.
It is correct, but limited approach, because for example K. Stanovich put this bias in a group of biases that has a focal bias as its basis. It means that it is similar to the confirmation bias and to a number of other biases when a person focuses on a number of things and his thought process doesn’t deviate much from these things. Going further Stanovich uses a concept of serial associative cognition, when a person only jump from one thought to another using fastest available mental links, trying to decrease his mental activity as much as possible.
Understanding this explanation you can use a method of creating alternatives to fight framing effect. So if you have a problem you wouldn’t just reformulate it using a gain frame, but you can create a number of different reformulations using alternative frames. And this approach will work, at least partially, against other biases that have serial associative cognition in its core, for example, against the confirmation bias.
1. ^ : Mindfulness and Metacognition