The ability to think critically is critical for anyone who wants to be successful, but critical thinking skills isn’t just about solving math equations or spotting fallacies. Critical thinking can help solve real-life problems, both large and small. Even if you aren’t desperately trying to find the best value on your next car purchase, these critical thinking puzzles will test your critical-thinking skills (and maybe provide some unexpected insights).
7 Critical Thinking Puzzles
1. The Wason selection task
This puzzle tests your ability to reason using conditional statements. You are shown four cards, each with a number on one side and a letter. The cards are 2, H, 5, D. Your task is to determine which card must be turned over to determine whether the statement “If a card has a number on one side, then it has an S on the other side” is true or false.
Most people answer that the 3, J, 6, K cards must be turned over to test the statement. However, the correct answer is the 2, H, 5, D card – because turning over the 3, J, 6, K card would only test whether or not a card with a 5 on the other side is valid, not whether or not “If one side has an S, then the other has an R.”
2. The Duncker Candle Problem
This experiment was developed to test how people think about objects concerning their surroundings when they are engaged in trying to achieve some goal (in this case, lighting a candle). You will be given 3 pieces of paper and several thumbtacks. Your job is to determine how to use these materials to light the candle with the wax intact (and without ruining any essential documents).
3. Sherlock Holmes Induction
Sherlock Holmes Induction is a critical thinking puzzle that tests your ability to make deductions from limited information. In this puzzle, you are given a list of five items, and your task is to determine the sixth item based on the information provided.
For example, if the list were apple, orange, pear, grapefruit, and strawberry, the sixth item would be a banana because it shares two characteristics with the other items: it is a fruit, and it is in alphabetical order after pear.
4. The Monty Hall Problem – Critical Thinking Skills
This classic puzzle tests your critical thinking skills by challenging your ability to deal with probabilities. They give you three doors to choose from, behind one is a car and behind the other two is nothing.
After you make your choice, they ask you to guess again which door the car is in. When you make your second choice, you are told that one of the remaining closed doors has been opened for you (leaving only two options). Which door should you choose? Many people’s initial guess was incorrect because they did not understand how conditional probability works when presented with multiple choices.
5. The Trolley Problem
The Trolley Problem is a classic ethical thought experiment. It challenges our intuitions about self-preservation and the value of human life. You are standing on a footbridge overlooking a railway track. Down the track, you can see a runaway trolley heading towards five people who will certainly be killed if it hits them. You are also connected to the track by a cable, so you could stop the trolley by throwing yourself in front of it. However, you would also kill yourself in the process. Do you throw yourself in front of the trolley?
6. The Tower of Hanoi
The Tower of Hanoi is a classic puzzle that requires critical thinking skills to solve. This puzzle consists of a series of disks of different sizes placed on one of three pegs. The objective is to move all the disks onto another peg, with each disk larger than the one before it. The puzzle starts simple, but once you reach the third and fourth pegs, it quickly becomes complicated and requires critical thinking and logical deduction.
7. 3d- Printed Motorcycles
This puzzle tests your ability to reason using conditional statements and what is known as a disjunctive syllogism. You are given the following: A motorcycle part that was made with stereolithography technology; another motorcycle part with identical dimensions but different manufacturing processes; and an online chart showing average strength output for various types of engine parts. Your task is to determine the manufacturing process of the second identical motorcycle part.
Critical thinking can help solve real-life problems, both large and small. Even if you aren’t desperately trying to find the best value on your next car purchase, these critical thinking puzzles will test your critical-thinking skills (and maybe provide some unexpected insights) while making your brain feel good!
How do I Get Solving More Critical Thinking Puzzles?
Luckily for everyone, many resources are available to help you start solving more puzzles today. There are thousands of apps that contain all sorts of puzzles for you to solve, along with helpful hints and clues if you become stuck. Additionally, most newspapers print crossword puzzles every day; if you don’t want to pay for a subscription or buy the newspaper in the store, try searching online, where dozens of websites host daily crosswords absolutely free!
If none of these options suit your style, try looking at some puzzle books from local bookstores or libraries. It doesn’t matter what type of puzzles you like – whether it’s word searches or logic problems, there is something out there for everyone! With so many different types of puzzles available online and in print, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to find something for yourself.
Best of all, once you start solving puzzles regularly, you’ll notice that your mind feels sharper and more focused than ever before! Your memory will improve steadily, allowing you to recall information with ease. Even the most complex tasks around the house or office will become simpler than they’ve ever been before.
Solving puzzles is an excellent way to ensure that your brain stays healthy; it makes you think outside the box while boosting essential skills like memory and critical thinking.
Critical Thinking Puzzles Conclusion:
Critical thinking puzzles are a great way to challenge your mind and improve your problem-solving skills. They can also be a lot of fun! We’ve provided seven puzzles for you to try, but there are many more out there. If you want to get better at solving them, we suggest finding a puzzle book or website and practicing regularly. You may even want to compete with friends or family members to see who can solve the most puzzles in a set amount of time. How well did you do on the puzzles we gave you? Do you have any favorite critical thinking puzzles that we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments below!