Is critical thinking needed if you want to think about politics? Politics may mean making decisions regarding different aspects of one’s social life, in this case authors of 1 argue that critical thinking is essential.
If we think about it a bit we can make the same conclusion. If a person needs to make a decision related to his social like, this decision may lead to a number of different consequences. Also some of consequences may be observed only after a time period. So if a person wants to make a good decision, he needs to consider possible consequences and apply his metrics to evaluate goodness of them. But before that a person needs to model the current situation so he can understand how this situation will change in future.
Of course it is a complicated example and people don’t need to make only this kinds of decisions. Other decisions may lead to immediate results, but before making these decisions you better to think what consequences it may have. Critical thinking can help with different kinds of decisions.
It can also help to increase awareness about decision-making process and avoid rash decisions. People may make a number of decisions every day without thinking about long-term consequences. These decisions may be related to politics and one’s social life, so increasing awareness of decision making can improve consequences from these decisions.
I can rephrase the argument like this: critical thinking can improve decision making; one’s social life can benefit from better decision making; social like can benefit from critical thinking. Of course better social live would benefit from other skills, like negotiation, public speaking and many others. But critical thinking can also help to make decisions how to acquire these skills or how to improve them. You can also promote critical thinking around you, it can also improve your social life because other people become better thinkers and better decision makers. And you can benefit from better decision making of people around you.
1. ^ : ten Dam, G. T. M., & Volman, M. L. L. (2004). Critical thinking as a citizenship competence: teaching strategies. Learning and Instruction, 14(4), 359-379. DOI: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2004.01.005