Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 579–582 | Cite as

Commentary: The Role of Goals and Values in Critical-Analytic Thinking

  • Kathryn R. Wentzel

As noted in the Introduction to this Special Issue (Alexander 2014), scholars from a broad range of disciplines came together for 2 days of discussion concerning the nature of critical-analytic thinking (CAT). Our conference focused on several themes, including coming to terms with definitions of CAT; elaborating on its self-regulatory, cognitive, and motivational underpinnings; identifying the social and contextual dimensions of CAT; and considering issues surrounding the measurement of critical, analytic thinking skills. As Alexander notes, there is little consensus as to what CAT is, what supports its development and use, and its ultimate purpose. However, over a 2-day period, our shared understanding of this construct evolved to reflect a more nuanced definition of CAT. Specifically, we defined it as an effortful and deliberate cognitive process that entails reflection on and evaluation of available evidence; being the product of individual differences, based on developmental and...


Critical-analytic thinking Goals Values 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Development and Quantitative MethodologyUniversity of Maryland, College ParkCollege ParkUSA

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