Recognize & Value Various Viewpoints

  • Identify an individual's values and biases (including your own).
  • Explore issues from multiple perspectives & understand multiple perspectives.
  • Examine your existing beliefs, attitudes, and opinions.  Why do you think so?  What evidence do you have to support that opinion?

Evaluating differing viewpoints is an essential critical thinking skill because it enables you to pull together divergent ideas and integrate differing, even contradictory, sources.  The skill is valuable as you research papers, examine social and political issues, and resolve controversy.


  • Deliberately put aside or suspend temporarily what you already believe about a particular issue.

  • Discover what similarities and differences exist among the various viewpoints.

  • Identify the assumptions on which each view is based.

  • Look for and evaluate evidence that suggests the viewpoint is well thought out.

  • To overcome the natural tendency to pay more attention to points of view with which you agree and treat opposing viewpoints superficially, deliberately spend more time reading, thinking about, and examining ideas that differ from your own.

  • To analyze particularly complex, difficult, or very similar viewpoints, write a summary of each.  Through the process of writing, you will be forced to discover the essence of each view.