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How Independent Thinking
Are You?
by Dr. Beverly Potter
Copyright material. See notice at the bottom

The following quiz yields a quick assessment of your current level of independent thinking. The items provide an overview of what is involved in thinking for yourself.

Instructions: Think of how you make decisions and form opinions, then for each item, using a scale from 1 to 5, rate how often the statement is true of you. With '1' being 'rarely like you' and '5' being 'usually like you'. There are no right or wrong answers. Simply answer the way that best describes how you usually feel and act.

__1.  I listen.
__2.  I consider several points of view.
__3.  I accept partial answers.
__4.  I seek alternative explanations.
Critical Thinking
__5.  I define the core issues.
__6.  I am alert for bias.
__7.  I resist emotional appeals.
__8.  I examine the evidence.
__9. I clarify my viewpoint.
__10. I rely on my own judgment.
__11. I trust my instincts.
__12. I weigh expert’s advice before accepting it.
__13. I live by a personal moral code.
__14. I consider what really matters to me.
__15. I tell the truth.
__16. I do what I say I will do.
__17. I am constantly improving myself.
__18. I don’t make excuses when I act badly.
__19. I examine my motivation.
__20. I weigh consequences.
__21. I say what I think.
__22.  I question what I see and hear.
__23. I take divergent positions.
__24. I speak up when someone is inappropriate.
Religious Openness
__25. I respect others’ religious beliefs.
__26. I interpret religious edicts for myself.
__27. I explore religious views different from mine.
__28. I question the views of my religion.
Questioning Authority
__29. I follow my conscience.
__30. I speak up when people in authority do wrong.
__31.  I do what makes sense, not just obey laws.
__32. I am skeptical of what people in authority say.

        32—64: Others Think for You
You give into other’s pressures because you don’t know what you want. When you sort out what matters most to you, you will be stronger. Take time to explore what really matters to you and how you see things.
65—96: Potential Independent Thinker
You have considerable potential to think independently.  Exercise your mental muscles by deciding your opinion on issues. Begin by gathering diverse information then weight the  pros and cons.
97—128: Promising Independent Thinker
Your critical thinking skills are good. You avoid stereotypes and  question experts and authorities. It’s important to remind yourself to use your analytical skills. Look for opportunities to practice—everyday.
129—160: Outstanding Independent Thinker
Your ability to think for yourself is outstanding.  You are good at seeing bamboozles and avoidng them.  Be careful not to become complacent by being alert to your unquestioned assumptions.
Copyright 2001: Beverly Potter. This Survey may be copied for individual use.  Any other use requires written permission from Beverly Potter. Box 3008, Oakland, CA. 94609 fax 510/420-3672. All Rights Reserved.