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Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Volume 26, Issue 2, Summer 2011

Gordon D. Lamb, Cecil R. Reynolds
Pages 21-29

Rationale for Considering Typical Critical Thinking Skills

This paper’s purpose is to provide a foundation for viewing critical thinking as both a maximal and typical performance construct. While maximal performance measures the best a person can do, typical performance measures what the person is most likely to do. An overview of maximal performance, including its history and limitations, will be given. The role of maximal and typical performance in cognitive development will be demonstrated through an exploration of the relationships between behavior, the environment, personality, crystallized intelligence, and fluid intelligence. Furthermore, these topics will be related to the development and use of critical thinking skills. Discussion will conclude with directions for future research.

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