How not to think critically or “critical unthinking”.

I’ve written previously on my difficulties and dilemmas about organising sessions for doctoral students on the notion of critical thinking. Over the past few months I have been thinking about critical thinking as a skill which once acquired can be suspended at will.  I am even going as far to think this might be a key leadership skill.

Times of turbulence and change provide personal opportunities for those who suspend critical thinking. If we choose not to think, we don’t have to care. Success in most areas of life (including academia I hope) requires the acquisition and use of critical thinking. Part of becoming a successful leader is turning the critical thinking faculty on and off, at will. Critical thinking is needed, but those who can choose when not to think and go along with what is happening, especially when it suits them personally, will thrive.

I think there is nasty “off switch” in all of us. I’ve seen much, thought little and passed by on the other side so many times.  When we think critically we might need to do something or say something.  By not thinking critically we can act as though our naivety, prejudice and instinct are means to the truth.

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