ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (5): 723-730.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00723

• Conceptual Framework • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The influence of critical thinking on Chinese innovative concept and behavior

HOU Yubo   

  1. (School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences and Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavior and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China)
  • Received:2016-11-04 Online:2017-05-15 Published:2017-05-15
  • Contact: HOU Yubo, E-mail:


Critical thinking is the process of value assessment and reflection on the basis of reasonable judgment and appropriate criteria. Despite its short history in psychological research, the exploration of this concept began with Descartes in the age of enlightenment. Descartes held the view that most of human knowledge is constructed on erred bases. Hence, in the pursuit of truth, the best method is to first cast doubt on all concepts and knowledge at hand. The doubt helps to discover and solve problems, and in the process knowledge is advanced and certainty is obtained. This kind of doubting is precisely the essence of critical thinking. Since 1980s, Ennis and Facione have studied the characteristics of Westerners’ critical thinking using modern psychological methods. They suggested that critical thinking could be measured along three dimensions: analytical ability, openness, and application. The current research is comprised of four parts. First, we determined the structures and effects of critical thinking in Chinese. Second, we explored the relation between critical thinking and creativity in college students. Third, we explored the relation between critical thinking and innovation in employees. Forth, we studied how to improve Chinese innovation by manipulating critical thinking. By systematically examining the relation between critical thinking and innovation, this line of research will help us better understand the mechanisms and effects of critical thinking and provide theoretical support for the mass innovation initiative proposed at the Eighteenth National Congress of the CPC.

Key words: critical thinking, analytical ability, openness of thinking, innovation, culture