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Critical Thinking Rubric 2*

(Focus on Analysis, Modeling, & Application)

5. Master Thinker

  • Develops new analysis tools or techniques that can be generalized to many empirical fields.
  • Generalizes models and theories to improve their operational value across fields.
  • Creates new methods for reducing bias and error across empirical research fields.
  • Able to apply highly generalized criteria to avoid biased conclusions about the value of evidence and inferences.
  • Researches new data analysis methods to establish their validity and range of applicability.

4. Advanced Thinker

  • Skillfully uses available analysis methods to draw out inferences useful in guiding further research.
  • Skillfully selects appropriate research models and designs useful in specific fields.
  • Skillfully applies research designs that will predictably reduce bias and error.
  • Skillfully selects and uses valid methods for assessing strength of evidence and accuracy of logic in drawing inferences.
  • Skillfully selects and uses valid methods of data analysis across many contexts.

3. Practicing Thinker

  • Effectively applies specific techniques that are recommended for analyzing current knowledge for gaps that suggest needed research.
  • Writes operational hypothesis statements that are focused on interaction of key variables.
  • Demonstrates consistency in using recommended methods for reducing bias and error.
  • Assesses the strength of evidence and logic of inferences using recommended methods.
  • Flexibly applies data analysis methods for familiar decision or judgment contexts.

2. Beginning Thinker

  • Summarizes, but can't systematically analyze, the current state of knowledge in an area of interest.
  • Imitates recommended models for writing operational hypothesis statements.
  • Aware of techniques for reducing bias and error, but inconsistently applies those known.
  • Recognizes the need to assess strength and logic of evidence, but does so inconsistently.
  • Imitates data analysis methods accurately but is unable to select methods independently.

1. Egocentric Thinker

  • Assumes published materials are equally true in the sense of presenting different facts about reality.
  • Rarely distinguishes independent from dependent variables in published reports.
  • Demonstrates limited awareness of major sources of bias and error in empirical research.
  • Uses the "method of authority" with limited awareness of the need to assess the strength or validity of evidence and inferences.
  • Unable to independently analyze data.

*Based, in part, on aspects of critical thinking presented in Diane S. Halpern (1996). Thought & knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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