Differentiate Critical Thinking And Creative Thinking Definition

Creative Thinking vs Critical Thinking

Creative Thinking and Critical Thinking are two expressions that show the difference between them when it comes to their inner meanings. Creative Thinking is going beyond the limitations and being original and fresh in one’s ideas. Critical Thinking, on the other hand, is more evaluative in nature and analyses a particular thing. Hence, one can conclude that while Creative thinking is generative in purpose, Critical Thinking is analytical in purpose. This is one of the main differences between creative thinking and critical thinking. This article attempts to provide an understanding of the two terms while elaborating the difference.

What is Creative Thinking?

First let us pay attention to Creative Thinking. In schools and even in universities the students are asked to be creative in their thoughts. This highlights a need to be original and to think outside of the box. If a person is continuously paying attention to the limitations and boundaries, it is quite difficult to be creative. Creative thinking is non-judgmental and expansive. There is no end to creative thinking. In fact, it can be said that the sky is the limit for creative thinking. This is the specialty of Creative thinking. It allows the person to break away from the usual barriers and imagine the unimaginable. Also, Creative thinking is not selective. The mind is free to think anything creative in the case of creative thinking. Unlike in the case of Critical thinking where you are bound to make some choices, in Creative Thinking it is different. Various kinds of choices are not made in the case of creative thinking. In fact, creative thinking aims at generating new and thought provoking ideas. This is why one can claim that creative thinking is all about imagination and imagery. Hence, it is best suited to creative arts like poetry and painting.

What is Critical Thinking?

Now let us move on to Critical Thinking. Unlike in the case of Creative thinking, Critical thinking adopts a much more rigid position. One of the features of Critical thinking is that it is not so expansive like creative thinking. In fact, it can be said that critical thinking is judgmental in nature. It is interesting to note that critical thinking is selective too. On the other hand, creative thinking is not selective. It is quite free by nature. The mind is free to think anything creative in the case of creative thinking. On the contrary, the mind is limited to think in the case of critical thinking. Creative thinking is employed in areas such as poetry, novel writing, short story writing and fiction writing. On the other hand, critical thinking is employed in organizations, business areas and the like. Critical thinking is aimed at improving the quality of products produced by a company, customer care service, and the like. It analyses the factors governing the process of running a company. One can claim that when being critical, a person is employed in a process of assessing rather than imagining. He would be analytical and break down a particular concept into various parts and analyze them. This includes paying attention to the plus and minus, the pros and cons, when thinking critically. As human beings, we need to have some ability for both creative and critical thinking. Now let us sum up the differences in the following manner.

What is the Difference Between Creative Thinking and Critical Thinking?

• Creative thinking is generative in purpose whereas critical thinking is analytical in purpose.
• Critical thinking is selective, but creative thinking is not selective.
• The mind is free to wander about in Creative thinking, but in the case of Critical thinking it is not so.

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1.”HenryMoore RecliningFigure 1951″. [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2.Filos Segundo Logo by Filosofias filosoficas [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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"Difference Between Creative Thinking and Critical Thinking." DifferenceBetween.Com. August 3, 2011. < http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-creative-thinking-and-vs-critical-thinking/ >

Filed Under: BehaviourTagged With: creative thinking, Critical thinking

Thinking vs. Critical Thinking

The Two Think Tanks: Thinking and Critical Thinking

Every human being is capable of thinking, but some say that few are able to practice critical thinking. What’s the difference?

Thinking is the mental process, the act and the ability to produce thoughts. People think about almost everything and anything. They often think of people, things, places, and anything without a reason or as a result of a trigger of a stimulus. Meanwhile, critical thinking often means “thinking about thinking.” In a sense, it is a deeper form of thinking about a particular issue or situation before actually deciding and acting.

In any given situation, thinking is an action that requires the person to form a thought about that situation. Any thought can be formed, even without facts or evidence. When critical thinking is applied, the mind is open to all considerations, assumptions, and details before actually forming a thought or an opinion. A person who is a critical thinker regards the subject itself and all its aspects, like the methods of collecting facts or the motivation behind said facts. A person who employs critical thinking often adds the question “why” to “who, what, where, and when” in a particular situation.

To illustrate, imagine a person at a bookstore. This person can pick out a book and think that the book is good upon first impression. A critical thinking person would open the book, read some passages, and read about the author before actually deciding whether to buy the book or not. The customer might often wonder about the title or why the author chose to write this particular piece of literature.

A thinker may accept facts or realities based on faith alone and without examination and analysis of the issue. These facts or realities are often perceived as “truth” and cannot be criticized or modified. In this situation, there is no need for evidence or the effort to produce it and its examination.

Critical thinking is the opposite of all of this. It often requires a lot of time, questions, and considerations. It also involves a longer process before arriving at a conclusion or decision.

Individuals who apply critical thinking are often open-minded and mindful of alternatives. They try to be well informed and do not jump to conclusions. Critical thinkers know and identify conclusions, reasons, and assumptions. They use clarifying and probing questions in order to formulate their reasonable situations and arguments. They often try to integrate all items in the situation and then draw conclusions with reason and caution. They also have good judgment on the credibility of sources and the quality of an argument, aside from developing and defending their stand. If asked, these people can clearly articulate their argument with all its strengths and weaknesses.

Critical thinking is an on-going process and activity. This skill is learned through active practice and constant use. Exposure to controversial issues and thought-provoking situations stimulates the mind to utilize this skill, which is then applied upon careful examination of an issue or situation. Meanwhile, thinking can be done in an instant without any given proof and/or justification.

Critical thinking requires logic and accuracy, while thinking sometimes occurs in the form of faith and personal opinion. The former requires evidence and further actions of examination and analysis, while the latter does not. It’s up to you to think and decide.


  1. Both thinking and critical thinking are mental processes.
  2. Thinking can be classified as an action, while critical thinking can be said to be a skill.
  3. Critical thinking is used with caution, while thinking can be spontaneous.
  4. A critical thinker is able to identify the main contention in an issue, look for evidence that supports or opposes that contention, and assess the strength of the reasoning, while a thinker may base their belief solely on faith or personal opinion.

Celine. "Difference Between Thinking and Critical Thinking." DifferenceBetween.net. June 30, 2017 < http://www.differencebetween.net/science/nature/difference-between-thinking-and-critical-thinking/ >.

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