Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA) Briefly
Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (W-GCTA) is a gold standard measure of critical thinking. Ever since its inception in 1925, Watson-Glaser has evolved greatly over the years. Goodwin Watson and E. M. Glaser, of Columbia Teachers College, published it as Watson test of fair-mindedness in 1925, first administered in 1928. The measure of fair-mindedness was a success, so the test was reviewed in 1941; under Watson-Glaser Tests of Critical Thinking, and it has been revised numerous times after that, aimed to improve its efficacy. One of the most recent revision is dated in 2011, which offered a better insight on business-related trends assessment and an update norm classes, and the scoring was founded on Item Response Theory. The revision also introduced an online validation test for pencil and paper test result.
Purpose of Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test
Watson-Glaser Critical thinking test has been designed to evaluate the ability of a person to absorb information, understand its significance and assess situations based on information provided at the time. The universe is designed around the idea of diversification, in each aspect of life. The critical thinking refers to the ability of a person to consider this diverse information rationally and devise a logical view. A true critical thinker does not simply accept someone else’s conclusions and arguments but seeks his own truth. With a clear sense of self, he makes connections, judges the quality of information and analyzes the authenticity of the arguments presented.
A human mind is a complicated machine, and with the values of family and everything around a person’s life, he has to have a biased opinion and beliefs. The practice of critically evaluating one’s arguments separates opinions from facts and help him get a clear understanding of the situation.
Foundation of Watson-Glaser critical thinking test
Watson-Glaser critical thinking test has been developed on the foundation of Pearson’s RED critical thinking model, which lists the skills that are needed in critical thinking and how to develop them. The RED represents:
R- Recognize Assumptions
E- Evaluate Arguments
D- Draw Conclusions
It is simply separating facts from opinions. To recognize assumptions mean, that a person has to view the information critically, in light of the assumptions made. This practice can be compared to separating the wheat from the chaff. The main purpose is to understand whether the information is correct or not, by uncovering the information gaps and unfounded reasons. By examining an assumption from different angles results in a richer perspective. It is advised to make sure that the fact isn’t actually an opinion in disguise.
In life, most of the information is tainted because people hear, what they want to hear. But to evaluate arguments is to set aside emotions, and sift through the conflicting information, objectively. People process information more accurately when they take an unbiased stand and question the underlying arguments better.
The possession of this skill particularly refers that a person has the ability to draw conclusions based on the information underlined, supported by evidence and is classified as “good judgment”. To draw a conclusion refers to the logical result achieved by bringing together diverse information together and selecting an optimal course of action.
AREAS OF TESTING
There are five basic areas of testing for Watson-Glaser critical thinking test; inferences, assumptions, deduction, interpretations, and evaluation of arguments. Every applicant has to answer questions that are logically justified for any of these areas, with the given information.
The test narrates a passage, and then a statement is given. The candidate has to pass the critical assessment of the statement that how true it is, relative to the passage narrated along with it.
The assumptions are the underlying facts that many people fail to acknowledge. In such questions, the candidates are presented with a statement. Then the statement is followed by a number of assumptions and the candidate has to assess whether the assumptions have been made or not.
When you say, “I will buy iPhone X next week.” You actually do not consider the underlying fact, whether you will be alive, or the payment, which is scheduled to arrive, may be held under any pretense.
Therefore, the far granted and presupposed assumptions are marked “Yes” and if the assumption has no basis for the statement, it is marked “No”.
An inference refers to a conclusion drawn from considered facts and observations. For example, if you hear loud voices at a distance, you may infer that someone is fighting or having a heated discussion. But the inference may or not be true. There is a possibility that the voices may belong to some a group of people, excited and just happy to live.
A candidate is given statements, which is followed by possible inferences that are to be marked as Definitely True (T), Probably True (PT), Insufficient Data (ID), Probably False (PF), and False (F).
Inferences sometimes are also based on common knowledge.
For the purpose of the test, the deduction is a conclusion given for a statement, not derived from one’s own knowledge. The test lists a passage, and then state possible statements from the passage are listed. If the statement cannot be deduced from the passage, it is marked “No” and “Yes” for the statements that can be deduced.
The interpretation refers to the conclusions that are drawn from given passage, based solely on the information that is presented in the passage. For the purpose of the test, it is to be assumed that all the information listed is absolutely and certainly true. The conclusions are also to be judged independently.
Evaluation of arguments
Evaluation of the argument refers to the selection of “Strong” and “Weak” argument status for a set of arguments, produced for a passage or a scenario. The candidates are to pass judgment based on the relevant information and sense of self.
YIELD OF WATSON-GLASER CRITICAL THINKING TEST
Watson-Glaser test has a reputation because it can be used, to predict job success ratio. Due to the proficiency of W-GCTA to do so, it is widely used, for every employer wants to know how his employee will perceive, measure, analyze and react in a situation.
The test is a preferred testing method for law firms, which in principle require a higher critical thinking to support their facts versus assumptions. The Watson –Glaser critical thinking test has also been to evaluate the cognitive abilities to select future leaders, managers and hiring the right person for the right job.
DOES WATSON-GLASER CRITICAL THINKING TEST WORK?
The Watson-Glaser critical thinking test has a history of development spanned over 85 years, and the feedback from the clients suggest that the test is highly predictive, in terms of job success at the graduate level and above.
Watson-Glaser Predictive Validity Study 2011, shows a high correlation coefficient, which posits a strong link between barrister training success and the Watson-Glaser.
Watson-Glaser Predictive Validity Study, conducted in 2013, states that the top performers achieved a highest average score in Watson-Glaser test, which strongly asserts that the test is highly predictive of task performance in a specific role. The study was spanned over two years, and the performance of 250 candidates were observed thoroughly.
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What Is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking, also known as critical reasoning, is the ability to assess a situation and to consider and understand various perspectives, all while acknowledging, extracting, and deciphering facts, opinions, and assumptions.
Why Is the Critical Thinking Test Important to Employers?
Critical thinking, or critical reasoning, is important to employers because they want to see that when dealing with an issue, you are able to make logical decisions without involving emotions. Being able to look past emotions will help you to be open-minded, confident, and decisive—making your decisions more logical and sound.
When Is Critical Thinking Used?
Critical thinking is used in several stages of the problem-solving and decision-making process:
- Defining the problem
- Selecting the relevant information to solve the problem
- Recognizing the assumptions that are both written and implied in the text
- Creating hypotheses and selecting the most relevant and credible solutions
- Reaching valid conclusions and judging the validity of inferences
Critical Thinking Skills Tests
Critical thinking tests can have several sections or subtests that assess and measure a variety of aspects.
In this section, you are asked to draw conclusions from observed or supposed facts. You are presented with a short text containing a set of facts you should consider as true. Below the text is a statement that could be inferred from the text. You need to make a judgement on whether this statement is valid or not, based on what you have read. Furthermore, you are asked to evaluate whether the statement is true, probably true, there is insufficient data to determine, probably false, or false. For example, if a baby is crying and it is his feeding time, you may infer that the baby is hungry. However, the baby may be crying for other reasons—perhaps it is hot.
In this section, you are asked to recognize whether an assumption is justifiable or not. Here you are given a statement followed by an assumption on that statement. You need to establish whether this assumption can be supported by the statement or not. You are being tested on your ability to avoid taking things for granted that are not necessarily true. For example, you may say, "I’ll have the same job in three months," but you would be taking for granted the fact that your workplace won't make you redundant, or that that you won’t decide to quit and explore various other possibilities. You are asked to choose between the options of assumption made and assumption not made.
This section tests your ability to weigh information and decide whether given conclusions are warranted. You are presented with a statement of facts followed by a conclusion on what you have read. For example, you may be told, "Nobody in authority can avoid making uncomfortable decisions." You must then decide whether a statement such as "All people must make uncomfortable decisions" is warranted from the first statement. You need to assess whether the conclusion follows or the conclusion does not follow what is contained in the statement.
This section measures your ability to understand the weighing of different arguments on a particular question or issue. You are given a short paragraph to read, which you are expected to take as true. This paragraph is followed by a suggested conclusion, for which you must decide if it follows beyond a reasonable doubt. You have the choice of conclusion follows and conclusion does not follow.
Evaluation of Arguments
In this section you are asked to evaluate the strength of an argument. You are given a question followed by an argument. The argument is considered to be true, but you must decide whether it is a strong or weak argument, i.e. whether it is both important and directly related to the question.
Another popular critical thinking assessment, Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) is a well-established psychometric test produced by Pearson Assessments. The Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is used for two main purposes: job selection/talent management and academic evaluations. The Watson Glaser test can be administered online or in-person.
Critical Thinking Examples
As there are various forms of critical thinking, we've provided a number of critical thinking sample questions.
Example 1 – Underlying AssumptionsWife to Husband: Our joint income is lower than it could be. But soon I will begin to work an additional part-time job and I will earn extra income.
Proposed Assumption: Asking for a raise at her current place of work is not the best way to increase the wife's income.
A. Assumption made
B. Assumption not made
The correct answer is (B), Assumption not made.
The conclusion of the wife's statement: Soon we will increase our joint income.
The evidence supporting this conclusion: I will begin to work an additional part-time job.
The underlying assumption/s that must be true for the conclusion to be true: A part-time job will provide me with extra money.
The proposed assumption: "Asking for a raise at her current place of work is not the best way to increase the wife's income" is not necessary for the conclusion to be true.
Example 2 – Interpreting InformationSeveral years ago, Harold and his wife adopted a two-year-old orphan named Betty. Today, Betty is an undergraduate student, living far away from home. Harold feels unhappy and misses Betty tremendously. He would like her to come home more often.
Proposed Assumption: Harold’s wife doesn’t feel unhappy.
A. Conclusion follows
B. Conclusion does not follow
The correct answer is (B), Conclusion does not follow.
Answer explanation: Harold’s wife is not mentioned in the passage, and, therefore, you cannot presume any information regarding her feelings.
Example 3 – InferencesFollowing a reduction in the number of applicants, the college has been asking students to evaluate faculty teaching performance for the last two years. The college's management announced that the purpose of these evaluations is to give information to faculty about teachers' strengths and weaknesses, and to allow those who make decisions about pay raises and promotions to reward the better teachers. Last week, Professor Burke, a recently retired senior lecturer at the college, wrote a letter in which he objected to these evaluations, claiming they compromise academic standards.
Proposed Assumption: There is more to the management's announced intentions than those mentioned by them in the passage.
B. Probably true
C. Insufficent data
E. Probably false
The correct answer is (B), Probably true.
Answer explanation: The text begins by introducing the management's announcement as a reaction to a negative trend—reduction in the number of student applications. While the announcement explicitly addresses both the college's staff and its students, it is likely that the issue at hand is not only a wish to achieve academic excellence but, in fact, a means to resolve the issue of reduced applications and college reputation, which has implications on the college's future. Therefore, the correct answer is probably true.
Professions That Use Critical Thinking Tests
Below are some professions that use critical thinking tests and assessments during the hiring process as well as some positions that demand critical thinking and reasoning skills:
Prepare for Critical Thinking and Critical Reasoning Assessments
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