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One kind of higher-order thinking is "critical thinking" in the sense of applying prudent or wise judgment to a situation. The Norris and Ennis (1989) definition quoted earlier—"Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do" (p. 3)—emphasizes this aspect of higher-order thinking. We all hope that our students turn out to have these qualities of good judgment, prudence, and wisdom.
Such qualities are important for good academic work, for instance in distinguishing among more and less credible historical accounts, or distinguishing among more and less appealing uses of a particular literary device by an author. Examples of the kind of judgment that students are asked to exercise in school include judging the credibility of a source (especially important in the Internet age); figuring out what an advertiser for a product, service, or candidate wants the reader or viewer to believe and what persuasive methods are used; appraising the usefulness of a text or a concept for one's own life and purposes; and deciding what to say or how to say something in various academic and classroom situations.