Barriers To Critical Thinking Definition Critical Thinking

There are many barriers to critical thinking. Barriers can distort your thinking a great deal. The way we are raised by our parents when are children can determine our religion, our political views, the way we view the world, and ultimately shapes our thinking and who we are as individuals. Our upbringing shapes our fears, our self-concept, and also shapes our emotions. Barriers can range from family, friends, peer pressure, the media, and so many more. To become a successful critical thinker, you have to face yourself and be completely honest with yourself. You have to do this so you can figure out exactly which barriers personally shapes your thinking. There are many barriers to critical thinking. Barriers can distort your thinking a great deal. The way we are raised by our parents when we are children can determine our religion, our political views, the way we view the world, and ultimately shapes our thinking and who we are as individuals.

Our upbringing shapes our fears, our self-concept, and also shapes our emotions. Barriers can range from family, friends, peer pressure, the media, and so many more. To become a successful critical thinker, you have to face yourself and be completely honest with yourself. You have to do this so you can figure out exactly which barriers personally shapes your thinking. some more specific barriers are enculturation, self-concepts, ego defenses, self-serving bias, emotional influences, and the list goes on! I am going to describe the three barriers that influence my personal thinking. Self- concept is one of my biggest personal barriers. Self- concept is the way we view ourselves. I view myself in a negative way. I do not think I’m smart or pretty, and I realize that the way that I view myself is really unhealthy. I also view myself as an Ohio State fan, the average student, a middle-class family, a Christian, an American, and someone who values honesty and respect. Traits, physical things, values, and affiliations define everyone, including me and form our self- concept. I know I defend these components as I would defend myself because these elements define who I am.

Since these things define who I am I do not think critically about them, my emotions get involved, and I begin to use ego-defence mechanisms, self-serving biases, and that begins to distort reality to make sure that I am comfortable and to make sure I am “right.” Emotional influences are another one of my personal barriers. I am a very emotional and passionate person. I also suffer from depression and anger issues. Emotions can cause a lot of problems for a lot of individuals in the world including myself. When trying to think critically emotions tend to cloud your head and begin to distort reality and influence your thoughts without you even realizing it. If I feel strong about an issue, I will defend it till I can not talk anymore. I am very stubborn and bullheaded. I am passionate towards many things, and I know that being passionate towards some people can end up hurting me in the long run. But passion and selfishness can blind your intelligence. Depression is a personal barrier that runs in my family. With depression I have a hard time looking at the bright side of any situation, some days are better than others. The negative always outweighs the positive in my eyes.

Stress is the last of my personal barriers I am going to share with you. Too much stress can cause a lot of psychological or physical strain on your mind and body. Stress comes in many shapes and sizes. My main stress triggers are work, school, family issues, boyfriend, and there are many more. I know it sounds silly, but stress contributes between 60 to 80 percent of diseases. Stress can obstruct our ability to make decisions. When I am under stress I have a tendency to snap at people when I do not mean to, I tend to cry a lot, and those things stress me out more. I work with people with developmental disabilities, and it is stressful, but it has also taught me patience. I work full-time and go to school full time. My boyfriend is in the Marine Corps and is currently stationed in California. Having a long distance relationship is extremely stressful and hard.

I can overcome this barrier by thinking critically is the issue worth debating about? Does this directly affect me or my well being? Is it worth getting upset about? Many of these elements do not directly affect me, so these elements are not worth debating. I deal with my depression by spending time with my family and the few friends I have. I like to listen to music and spend time with my boyfriend when I am feeling depressed. I can overcome these emotional barriers by stepping back and looking at the bigger picture. When I feel like my emotions are getting out of hand, step back, breathe, think about the situation rationally before things get out of control. I am beginning to overcome stress by working out. I work out about five to six times a week. When I work out it feels as if the stress completely disappears, and I feel so much better inside and out. The gym has become my escape from all the stressors in my life.

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Barriers to critical thinking can harm, and even seriously injure critical thinking concepts. Let’s call theses threats land mines.

Much thinking of the untrained mind is distorted, incomplete, biased, uninformed and prejudiced.

This kind of thinking creates a potential mine field that can hold a person back from using his/her knowledge, schooling, experience, reasoning, intuition, common sense and confidence to make informed decisions.

This section was created to raise awareness of the critical thinking mine field and ways of avoiding the mines. Then, you can focus your efforts on thinking more critically.

Critical Thinking Land Mines

Below are several Barriers to Critical Thinking to be aware of:


• Egocentric Thinking

• Social Conditioning

• Biased Experiences

• Arrogance and Intolerance

• Schedule Pressures

• Group Think

• The Drone Mentality


To sidestep the critical thinking land mines first become aware of them. Then, make a conscious effort to avoid them.

Becoming a critical thinker requires continually questioning your thinking and ideas as well as the thinking and ideas of others. This separates you from the crowd.

The power and confidence gained by making informed decisions is a worthy reward.

Sidestepping the Land Mines


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