We use basic thinking skills in everyday life, usually with little difficulty. However, many people find it difficult to apply these same skills automatically to new contexts, such as more abstract problemsolving and academic study. This is partly because, although people use these skills in contexts that are familiar to them, they are not always sufficiently aware of the underlying strategies that they are using so as to be able to adapt them to new circumstances. The more used we are to applying skills easily in one context, the more difficult it can be to identify the underlying skills.Critical thinking skills are based on underlying sets of thinking skills or sub-skills, such as: • focusing attention so as to recognise thesignificance of fine details;
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