Volume 12 Issue 1 (2023)

Dispositions toward Critical Thinking in Portuguese Undergraduate Students

pp. 19-36  |  Published Online: March 2023  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2023.121.2

Eva Morais, José Lopes, Helena Silva, Caroline Dominguez, Rita Payan-Carreira, Cristina Imaginário, Maria José Santos


Background/purpose – The study aimed to identify differences in the level of critical thinking dispositions of undergraduate students in Portugal according to their sociodemographic (gender, age) and academic (study field) characteristics.

Materials/methods – A cross-sectional, descriptive correlational study was conducted with a convenience random sample of 1,017 students. Most of the participants were female (76.8%) and the average age of the respondents was 21.8 ± 4.22 years old. For data collection, the Critical Thinking Dispositions Scale (CTDS) was employed, which consists of 35 question items and was validated for the Portuguese population. In the statistical analysis, t-test, ANOVA, and hierarchical multiple regression model were used.

Results – The students showed an average positive disposition for critical thinking (average CTDS score was 279.1 ± 27.1). The results demonstrated that gender, age, and field of study influenced the students’ dispositions for critical thinking. Older female students attending biomedicine courses had a higher disposition to think critically.

Conclusion – Female students generally show higher critical thinking scores dispositions, regardless of the study field.

Keywords: Critical thinking dispositions, higher education, undergraduate students, sociodemographic effect, study field.


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