Motivating Factors Related to Critical Thinking

Motivating Factors Related to Critical Thinking

Students were asked to rate the influence of nine motivating factors on their choice to use CT skills. They rated the skills on a four-point Likert-style scale. The order in which students identified motivating factors for use of CT skills was (from most to least popular):

  1. I believe that strong CT skills will help me in my future career.
  2. I believe in thinking critically about important topics.
  3. I believe in thinking critically about what I read and hear.
  4. I believe that strong CT skills will help me to succeed in a future degree program (for example, a master’s degree, law degree, medical degree, or Ph.D.).
  5. I have learned to appreciate CT through experiences that I have outside of school (for example, in my social life, while writing or pursuing other creative hobbies, or while reading/watching media related to personal interests).
  6. My instructors require CT as part of assignments and/or give points specifically for CT.
  7. It is easy and/or natural for me to use CT skills now.
  8. My classmates’ performance in class or study sessions inspires me to use my CT skills.
  9. Other students (classmates, friends, peer tutors, etc.) have recommended that I use CT skills on my assignments.
Motivating Factors Related to Critical Thinking 
Motivating Factor Mean Score Standard Deviation of Scores
I believe that strong critical thinking skills will help me in my future career. 3.83 0.38
I believe in thinking critically about important topics. 3.79 0.41
I believe in thinking critically about what I read and hear. 3.75 0.44
I believe that strong critical thinking skills will help me to succeed in a future degree program (for example, a master’s degree, law degree, medical degree, or Ph.D.). 3.71 0.55
I have learned to appreciate I have learned to appreciate critical thinking through experiences that I have outside of school (for example, in my social life, while writing or pursuing other creative hobbies, or while reading/watching media related to personal interests). 3.67 0.56
My professors require critical thinking as part of assignments and/or give points specifically for critical thinking. 3.58 0.58
It is easy and/or natural for me to use critical thinking skills now. 3.33 0.76
My classmates’ performance in class or study sessions inspires me to use my critical thinking skills. 2.83 0.96
Other students (classmates, friends, peer tutors, etc.) have recommended that I use critical thinking skills on my assignments. 2.54 0.98
Note. Scores were presented to students as follows: (a) “very true for me” = 4 points, (b) “somewhat true for me” = 3 points, (c) “somewhat untrue for me” = 2 points, and (d) “Not at all true for me” = 1 point.

Note. Mean scores and standard deviations have been rounded to two decimal points in order to make small differences in scores apparent.