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An Introduction to Critical Thinking and Creativity: Think More, Think Better by Joe Y. F. Lau

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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 THINKING SKILLS IN THE AGE OF GLOBALIZATION

Whether we like it or not, globalization is changing the way we work and live. First of all, we are increasingly faced with complex problems that affect the whole world, whether it is global warming, pollution, financial crises, or new epidemics. We need good thinking and creative ideas to coordinate efforts to solve these problems. At the personal level, globalization brings about an ever-quickening pace of life. We have a huge amount of information available, but what we learn today might easily become obsolete tomorrow. Although fast changes also bring new opportunities, we now have to compete with talented people across the world. To be successful in this environment, we need good thinking skills that can help us make reliable decisions and acquire new knowledge quickly.

But what do we mean by good thinking skills? Basically, it comes down to two things—critical thinking and creativity. Critical thinking is thinking clearly and rationally. It involves thinking precisely and systematically, and following the rules of logic and scientific reasoning, among other things. As for creativity, it is a matter of coming up with new and useful ideas, generating alternative possibilities. This book is about these two sets of thinking skills, but at this point, you might ask, Which is more important, critical thinking or creativity? The short answer is that they are equally important. We need creativity to come up with ...

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