What is critical thinking? According to the folks at Thinknetic (one of the authors on the following list of book recommendations), critical thinking is defined as “the ability to think about connected ideas thoroughly and independently, basing those ideas on factual evidence.” A practical expansion of this definition also calls out “the act of turning the full force of our reasoning towards resolving real-world problems.”
Critical thinking is an important factor in many disciplines. It is also at the core of a successful UX operation, whether it applies to individuals or teams. If you want to excel at true and pure UX, you’ll need to excel at critical thinking. The following list of books serve as a tremendous set of resources to help people lay a sound foundation, grow, AND optimize critical thinking acumen.
Short and sweet today, I’m just providing a list of my recommendations with links to their respective pages on Amazon.com. You should be able to visit Amazon and take a sneak peek at each book via the Look Inside option. Enjoy!
- The Death of Expertise: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters
- Thinking, Fast and Slow
- Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment
- The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains
- Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment
- Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Professional and Personal Life
- Critical Thinking In A Nutshell: How To Become An Independent Thinker And Make Intelligent Decisions (Critical Thinking & Logic Mastery)
- The Critical Thinking Effect: Uncover The Secrets Of Thinking Critically And Telling Fact From Fiction (Critical Thinking & Logic Mastery)
- Master Your Thinking: A Practical Guide to Align Yourself with Reality and Achieve Tangible Results in the Real World (Mastery Series Book 5)
- Critical Thinking & Dark Psychology Secrets 101: Beginners Guide for Problem Solving and Decision Making skills to become a better Critical Thinker
- Conquer Logical Fallacies: 28 Nuggets Of Knowledge To Nurture Your Reasoning Skills (Critical Thinking & Logic Mastery)
So, which books stood out for you?!?!? There’s a lot of fantastic content, but don’t feel pressured to buy them all. It’s a long ride, so make sure you enjoy it as you progress. Don’t forget about resources such as Good Reads, where you should be able to access some of the books for free.
And UXers…. remember, critical thinking is invaluable! Want a differentiator in your career? The tickets reside in the above-mentioned resources. ;-)
Darren Hood is a 27+ year UX practitioner with a broad professional footprint that spans several types of business. He serves as an adjunct professor at Kent State University (Kent, Ohio), Lawrence Tech University (Southfield, Michigan), and Harrisburg University (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). He is also one of the authors featured in “97 Things Every UX Practitioner Should Know.”
You can hear more from the Darren by checking out the UX Uncensored Medium page, listening to The World of UX with Darren Hood wherever podcasts are available, or via the UX Uncensored YouTube channel.