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Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment Predicts Real-World Outcomes of Critical Thinking


Heather A. Butler, School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 91711, USA.



Although educators and employers agree that it is important to assess the critical thinking skills of students and prospective employees, few assessments have been externally validated with real-world outcomes of critical thinking. The Halpern Critical Thinking Assessment (HCTA) is a reliable measure of critical thinking skills and has been validated with multiple populations and measures of academic success. This study explored whether scores on the HCTA predicted real-world outcomes in a wide range of domains, such as education, health, law, finance, and interpersonal relationships. Community adults (n = 50), state university students (n = 48), and community college students (n = 35) in the USA completed the HCTA and a behavioral inventory of life events. Overall, those with higher critical thinking scores reported fewer negative life events than those with lower critical thinking scores, r (131) = −.38, p < .001. Implications for education are discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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