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The enemy of PC components is temperature. That’s why it is preferable to monitor and optimize the system to avoid overheating.

Also, this action will maintain the longevity of your graphics processing unit, which is vital. So, what temperature range is ideal for your GPU when it is idle?

Well, don’t worry; I’ll give you a detailed response on the GPU’s ideal operating temperature range. So let’s start reading the article.

What is the Idle GPU Temperature?

30-40 degree Celsius is the idle temperature range for a GPU. This can be plus or minus approximately 5 degrees, depending on the room heat. They may reach 60-85 degrees under a graphics-intensive workload. This is the perfect range of temps based on the situation.

Depending on the temperature outside, the idle temperature may change. The temperature range mentioned above was tested in a room with a temp of 21 degrees Celsius, and the system was air-cooled. Your temperature may be over 15 to 25 degrees Celsius higher than the ambient room temperature.

That being said, it’s essential to often check the GPU’s temperature. High temperatures can cause problems and reduce the lifespan of a product. The graphics unit’s performance may also suffer as a result. And because of this problem, your FPS could drop or your inputs may lag.

So, how do you keep track of the GPU temperatures? There are several methods for monitoring the temperatures of your product. You can use the built-in system of Windows or third-party options. Let’s look at how you can keep track of your GPU temperatures.

How to Monitor GPU Temperature

You can accurately measure the GPU temperature by using the built-in Windows feature or a third-party app. I’ll show you how to use specific methods to precisely determine the temperature.

Follow these terms to check your GPU temperature:

Built-In Windows 10 Task Manager

Previously, there were no features in Windows to monitor the temperature of the GPU. Nevertheless, Windows developed a system that has been integrated into the task manager.

Many people attempt to determine the temperature of their GPU by touching it or listening to the fan noise. And I used to calculate the heat using these flimsy methods, but it didn’t provide an accurate answer.

You can use the task manager to precisely monitor the temperature. However, you must upgrade your Windows system to at least 202420H1. After that, you can make use of the feature.

Windows 10 optimized its feature to provide information on — GPU utilization rate, Dedicated GPU memory, GPU memory, and Shared GPU memory.

Besides that, in order to access these features through the task manager, you must update your graphics driver to WDDM 2.4 or later.

Here are the steps to check GPU temperature with Task Manager:

Lunch Task Manager by pressing CTRL + Shift + ESC.

Choose the Performance tab from the top portion.

Select GPU from the left.

The temperature is displayed below the GPU tab. By using the task manager, you can determine the GPU temperatures in this manner.

Official or Third-Party Apps

Since you are unable to use the built-in feature of Windows, or unsatisfied with the results, you can use a third-party app. They can also provide additional information on the graphics unit’s load, fan speed, frequency range, voltage, and so on.

Nvidia and AMD also have dedicated GPU apps, Nvidia Control Panel, and AMD Control Center. These monitoring apps are typically pre-installed if you have a dedicated graphics card, or they can be downloaded from official websites.

HWInfo, GPU-Z, MSI Afterburner, Asus GPU Tweak, and Speccy are some other options. If you use different Graphics Cards brands, you can use these apps to monitor the temperature. These apps are also compatible with Nvidia and AMD graphics cards.

I always use HWInfo to keep track of my GPU temperatures. From my in-hand experience, it provides precise temperatures, usage, and many other benefits. I’ve included an example of my GPU temperature for your convenience.

You can check the temperature of your GPU using a task manager, dedicated GPU manufacturer apps, or third-party apps. I’d recommend you use the official builder’s app cause they provide much more statistics than Task Manager.

Checking the GPU temperature on a regular basis is one of the best practices. Excessive heat can harm the product or trim its lifespan. That’s why you need to monitor the temps of the GPU as well as the CPU.

What May Cause the Idle Temperature to Increase?

Overheating is one of the most serious problems for PC components. Excessive heating can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor ventilation, overclocking, or graphics unit failure. Also, you don’t like overheating issues when everything is at a standstill.

Here are the reasons, that can cause the idle temperatures to raise:

Dust and Debris

Dust and darts accumulate on your GPU fan over time. This dust accumulation can obstruct the graphics unit’s airflow. As a result, the temperature may rise above normal. You should clean the GPU on a regular basis.

You must clean the GPU fan on a regular basis. You can use a brush or an air blower. And it’s always a good idea to remove the GPU from the PC at the time of cleaning.

GPU Load

The higher the load, the hotter your graphics unit will become. When you are editing video, rendering, or playing GPU-intensive games, the temperature of your GPU climbs up. That’s normal until the temperature rises into dangerous territory.

If the temperature reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit at full load, you are in a very dangerous temperature zone. This can shorten the unit’s lifespan and cause thermal throttling.


In general, it is evident that you overclock your system if you desire to squeeze every last bit of performance out of the GPU. Remember that the more you overclock the computer, the more heat it will generate.

That being said, remember to leave some breathing room when overclocking your GPU. This will offer the best performance while protecting your priceless graphics card from damage due to overheating.

Poor Ventilation

When using an air-cooled system, proper air optimization is required to keep the temperature inside the PC as low as possible. If the ventilation is insufficient, the temperature of the GPU and other components will rise.

Having said that, you need to properly optimize your PC airflow. That will reduce the component’s heating issue.

GPU Hardware Failure

The GPU fans are the only moving parts with the highest failure rate in the GPU unit. Regrettably, it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. The temperature will rise if the fan does not spin, which is an obvious problem.

You can check to see if the GPU is properly connected to the motherboard or if any physical object is preventing the fan from spinning. If there is nothing wrong but your GPU fan is still not spinning, you have to repair the GPU.

What is the Normal GPU Temperature While Gaming?

While gaming, a graphics card’s temperature must be less than 85 degrees Celsius. Basically, if the temperature rises above 90 degrees Celsius, it is considered overheating and can cause physical component damage.

In case, you play games with a medium resolution, the temperature will hover over 60-65 degrees Celsius. This temperature may rise if your gaming session lasts longer than 4-6 hours. Also, the GPU temperature has an impact depending on the room temperature.

It is worth noting that the maximum temperature range of high-end video cards is greater than that of mid-range cards. High-end cards can reach 95 degrees Celsius without thermal throttling. But going over that may cause throttling or system termination.


Is 50C good for GPU idle?

At idle, a temperature of 50 degrees Celsius is acceptable. In case, your Graphics card is resting at 50 degrees Celsius when idle, you should not be concerned.

What temp does RTX 2080 idle at?

It appears strange that in the same environment, the 2080s idle within about 34 ° whereas the 2080tis idles at around 40 degrees.

What ranges are idle for GPU?

When idle, graphics cards maintain a temperature between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius. With a heavier workload, they could reach 60°C to 85°C, which is normal.

Final Thoughts

When your computer is idle, the temperature will be between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius. This temperature may vary slightly depending on the ambient temperature. However, it must remain below 50.

You must constantly monitor the temperature to ensure that it remains constant or not reaching any risky temp zone. If the idle temperatures rise too high, you must address the problem immediately or risk damaging your valuable Graphics Processing Unit.

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Hdg Explains: What Is A Gpu?

The GPU or Graphical Processing Unit is a dedicated microchip that is designed to specifically do graphics-related tasks at a much faster rate than a CPU or Central Processing Unit. 

In general, GPUs handle the visual side of video games as well as video editing software, graphic design, 3D design and other similar tools. Recently, GPUs have also been put to use doing certain non-graphics tasks like cryptocurrency mining, which works well with their unique internal design.

Table of Contents

The Difference Between a GPU And CPU

Every computer, whether a laptop, tablet or gaming console, has a CPU. The CPU is the brain of the machine. When you run software on your device, it’s the CPU that follows the instructions and does all the necessary math. Of course, every microchip executes instructions, so what makes a CPU special? 

Most modern CPUs have four CPU cores, although this number is rapidly growing. The number of calculations a CPU can do at the same time is limited by the number of cores. But a CPU is very good at doing a small number of complex calculations of any type, very quickly, one after the other.

However, modern GPUs have a very different design philosophy. Instead of a small number of complex, full-function processing cores, they have hundreds or thousands of simple processor cores that are designed to execute instructions in parallel, specifically related to graphics. 

Are GPUs And Graphics Cards The Same Thing?

What is a GPU? The GPU refers specifically to the microprocessor itself, but of course a GPU can’t operate by itself. It needs other components to do its job. So let’s go over the different ways that GPUs are packaged.

Graphics Cards

A graphics card is a discrete device that plugs into a standard slot on your computer motherboard. It consists of the printed circuit board, the GPU, memory, display connectors, power connectors and other various components that the GPU needs.

Graphics cards also have dedicated cooling systems that help keep the GPU within a safe operating temperature. The main benefit of graphics cards is that they can be easily replaced with newer models without the need to replace the entire computer or motherboard.

Integrated GPUs

Integrated GPUs are built into the same housing as a CPU. So a computer equipped with one of these does not need a separate graphics card in order to work. Display connectors are provided by the motherboard and the GPU shares the same pool of memory as the CPU. Of course, the CPU and GPU also share the same cooling system and power supply. 

Tablets and smartphones also have integrated GPUs, but these are part of a “system on a chip” package. On computers, only the CPU and GPU share the same package In the case of SoCs, the RAM, storage, peripheral controllers and other components that make up the entire system are all on the same silicon package.

Dedicated GPUs

A dedicated GPU is distinct from a graphics card and integrated GPUs. It’s easiest to think of it as a graphics card that has been built into the computer. Laptops are the main devices that use dedicated GPUs.

Just as with a graphics card, the GPU has its own memory and cooling, but unlike a graphics card you can’t change or upgrade your dedicated GPU. There are a small number of laptops that use interchangeable GPU modules, but this is a rare exception.

External Graphics Cards

A recent development, external graphics cards, make use of high-speed ports on modern computers. Thunderbolt 3 over USB C is the solution of choice. External cards can either be an integrated solution, or simply an enclosure which you can use with any graphics card that will fit.

This is a good solution for laptop users who want a more powerful GPU solution when at a desk. You can read more about external GPUs in our article about them.

Understanding GPU Specifications

If you want to know how to choose between different graphics cards, have a look at our graphics card buyer’s guide for a detailed explanation of GPU specifications. If you just want a quick rundown, here are the key numbers that matter when it comes to GPUs:

The number of processors

The amount of memory

The total memory bandwidth

Special features, such as hardware ray tracing

Unfortunately, knowing these numbers or details won’t tell you much about how a given GPU or graphics card will perform. In the end what matters most is performance with the applications you want to run, which you can easily find in published benchmarks online.

General GPU Computing Tasks

The last important thing to know about modern GPUs is that they can be used for certain non-graphics tasks. Since GPUs are essentially made up of a massive number of simple processors, any job that needs lots of calculations done in parallel may benefit from running on a GPU.

For example, the Nvidia brand of cards work with CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) instructions. You can write software using CUDA so that it makes use of the GPU’s unique design to accelerate certain types of calculations.

I Can See Clearly Now

A D3D11 Compatible Gpu Is Required To Run The Engine

Some users are getting the “A D3D11 compatible GPU is required to run the engine” error message while launching or playing games on their Windows computers. Though most users have experienced this error on Fortnite, it is not a game-specific error. Hence, you can see this error on any game installed on your Windows device. In this article, we will see some possible solutions that may help you fix this problem.

The complete error message is as follows:

A D3D11-compatible GPU (feature level 11, shader model-5) is required to run the engine.

A D3D11 compatible GPU is required to run the engine

The D3D11 compatible GPU error usually occurs in the following cases:

When the user’s system does not have Direct3D 11 or higher version.

When the user’s GPU does not support Direct3D 11 or higher version.

If the D3D11 libraries get corrupted.

If you see this error message while launching a game on your computer, try the following fixes to get this issue resolved.

Check Direct3D version

Repair or reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables

Download DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer from Microsoft website

Update or reinstall your graphics card driver

Let’s see all these solutions in detail.

1] Check Direct3D version

As we have explained above, if your system does not have Direct3D 11, you will see this error message while playing some games. If you have Windows 11/10, you have to update your system in order to install the Direct3D 11. To check whether or not your system has Direct3D 11, follow the following steps:

Open the Run command box by pressing the Win + R keys.

The above command will open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.

You will see the version of Direct3D under the Drivers section.

If you have an older version of Direct3D, you have to install its latest version. If you are a Windows 11/10 user, the only way to install the latest version of Direct3D is to update the Windows. If despite having the latest version of Direct3D, you are receiving the error on your games, some DirectX files might be corrupted.

In both of the above scenarios, a Windows Update can fix the problem. Check for Windows Update manually. If an update is available, install it. After updating your system, the issue should get fixed. If not, try the next solution.

2] Repair or reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables

One possible cause of the problem is the corrupted packages of Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables. Repair the Visual C++ Redistributables. The following steps will guide you on this:

Open Windows 11/10 Settings.

Scroll down and locate Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables. You will find more than one installed on your system.

Similarly, repair all the Visual C++ Redistributables installed on your system. When you are done, launch your game and see if the error occurs. If yes, visit chúng tôi and download all the Visual C++ packages that are installed on your system. Now, uninstall the Visual C++ Redistributables one by one from your computer. When you are done, run the installer files to install the latest version of Visual C++ Redistributables.

3] Download DirectX End-User Runtime Web Installer from Microsoft website

This should fix the problem.

4] Update or reinstall your graphics card driver

Though your graphics card supports the Direct3D 11 or higher versions, you may receive the “D3D11 compatible GPU is required to run the engine” error while playing games due to the corrupted or outdated graphics card driver. Hence, you should update your graphics card driver. To do so, open your Windows 11/10 Settings and go to the Optional Updates page. If an update for your graphics card driver is available, it will be shown there. Install the update if it is available.

If this does not work, visit the official website of your graphics card manufacturer and download the latest version of your graphics card driver. Now, uninstall your graphics card driver using DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller). After uninstalling the driver, run the installer file to install the graphics card driver on your system.

Read: Fix VALORANT DirectX Runtime error

How do I fix D3D11 compatible GPU is required to run the engine?

You may see this error while playing video games on your Windows computer if it does not have Direct3D 11 or higher version. To fix this problem, you have to install Direct3D 11 or a higher version. For this, download the latest Windows update. If this does not work, repair or reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables and update your graphics card driver.

What happens if Fortnite says D3D11 compatible GPU?

It means that Fortnite requires a graphics card that is compatible with D3D11. You can check this by launching the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. Some fixes that you can try to resolve this issue are installing the latest Windows Update, updating your graphics card driver, etc.

Hope this helps.

Read next: Fix DX11 feature level 10.0 is required to run the engine error in Valorant.

Overclock Your Cpu, Gpu, And Ram

You want the best performance possible from your computer, but you can’t afford any hardware upgrades. No problem–we’ll show you how to safely overclock your existing desktop PC’s CPU, GPU, and RAM and give it an extra shot in the arm.

Safety first! Modifying components like these could void your warranty (though some PC parts are sold specifically for use by overclockers, and their warranties tend to be more lenient). Also, no one will replace equipment that has been physically damaged by overclocking, so make sure that you’re completely comfortable taking your PC’s life into your own hands before you change anything.

It’s important to have system-monitoring software to keep track of your tweaks. CPU-Z is good for tracking your various components’ speeds. In addition, clean your PC’s case thoroughly and keep your components as cool as possible. Overclocking entails pushing your PC past its specified peak performance, and the extra power creates more heat, so you may want to consider adding extra air-cooling equipment. Better yet, see our instructions on how to build your own liquid-cooling system.

Overclocking Your CPU

We tried overclocking a test machine running one of Intel’s unlocked K-Series chips, a Core i7-2600K CPU running at a base speed of 3.4GHz (that number is the product of the processor’s base clock rate, 99.8MHz, times the multiplier, 34). With K-Series chips, you can easily modify the multiplier from the ‘Performance’ settings in your BIOS. Just boot into the BIOS, increase the CPU multiplier number by one, save, and boot into Windows.

If this boot doesn’t produce error messages or furious restarting by your machine, you’re on the right path. Check your system specs via CPU-Z to confirm that your settings held-they can be lost if something goes wrong during the tweaking process. On CPU-Z’s ‘CPU’ tab, look at the number under ‘Core Speed and Multiplier’. That number will fluctuate, depending on what your PC is doing from moment to moment.

Next, run a benchmark utility to stress-test your CPU’s new configuration. Use Prime95‘s Torture Test mode or Linx to push your PC to its limits, thereby giving you an idea of your system’s maximum clock speed. If your computer remains free of blue screens or sudden restarts after a few hours of number-crunching with one of these tools, you’re probably in the clear. Then you can stick with the current overclocking settings, or try again with a slightly faster speed.

Overclocking Your GPU

Overclocking a modern graphics board is easier than ever; most of the time, you can raise performance by turning up a few sliders in your GPU configuration utility.

First, make sure that you’ve downloaded the latest drivers from the manufacturer’s Website. You can find the latest Nvidia software here, and AMD’s latest drivers here. AMD includes basic overclocking controls in the ATI Overdrive tab of your included Catalyst Control Center software; for an Nvidia card, you’ll need to download the Nvidia System Tools utility to change your GPU clock speed settings.

Open the utility for your card, and locate the clock speed controls for your GPU’s processor and memory. AMD’s Catalyst Control Center keeps them under the Overdrive tab; for Nvidia, the clock speed sliders are in the Performance menu. Now, just bump the sliders up in small increments–about 5MHz to 10MHz at a time. As with the CPU upgrade, tweak, save, reboot, and give the new settings a stress test by running free benchmarking software such as Heaven 2.0 or by playing a graphics-intensive game for 15 to 20 minutes to check for graphical corruption–that would be a warning sign that your GPU is starting to fail.

If you see solid blocks of flashing colors or strange flashing pixel formations, you’ve pushed your GPU too far; in that case, restart and roll back a few increments. Most contemporary PC components are sturdy enough to withstand this kind of tinkering. If you roll back to a stable overclock setting at the first sign of trouble, your components should be fairly safe.

Overclocking Your Memory

Yes, you can overclock your RAM, too. But make sure you have matching sticks of RAM (same speed, manufacturer, and so on) before you start messing with the memory. It’s much easier (and safer) to buy more memory than to overclock what you have. But if you’ve come this far, “easy” and “safe” probably don’t mean much to you.

First, open up CPU-Z and flip to the ‘SPD’ (Serial Presence Detect) tab to look at your machine’s memory specs. Reboot into the BIOS menu and select the performance menu-most likely labeled ‘Performance’ or ‘Configuration’, depending on your motherboard manufacturer.

Enter the memory configuration menu (it was labeled ‘Memory Overrides’ on our test bed), and disable the default memory profile. Adjust your memory multiplier by selecting a preset overclock option or by typing in the RAM clock speed. Use increments, one or two at a time, that match consumer-grade products (DDR3 RAM is typically sold in increments of 800-1066-1333-1600-1867-2133); save the changes; and exit the BIOS. Stress-test as usual, and consider running memory-testing software such as MemTest.

What Is Perception Bias?

Perception bias is the tendency to perceive ourselves and our environment in a subjective way. Although we like to think our judgment is impartial, we are, in fact, unconsciously influenced by our assumptions and expectations.

Example: Perception biasAfter a few weeks at your new job, you notice that some of your colleagues always go for after-work drinks on Fridays. It’s not an official team event, but each week the same person asks who’s joining and books a table. However, no one ever asks the older colleagues to join, assuming that they won’t be interested.

If left unchecked, perception bias can affect how we evaluate ourselves and others. As a result, we may form inaccurate impressions.This, in turn, can impact the quality of our decision-making.

What is perception bias?

Perception bias is a broad term used to describe different situations in which we perceive inaccuracies in our environment. It is a type of cognitive bias that occurs when we subconsciously form assumptions or draw conclusions based on our beliefs, expectations, or emotions.

Perception bias works like a filter, helping us make sense of all the information we are exposed to in our surroundings. As a result, our perception of reality is often distorted. For example, this can cause us to unfairly label people or make inferences about their abilities on the basis of superficial observations or stereotypes.

Why does perception bias occur?

Perception bias occurs because our perception is selective. Here, perception refers to the process of screening, selecting, organizing, and interpreting stimuli, such as words or objects, in order to give them meaning. Our brain chooses to hone in on one or very few stimuli out of the multitude of stimuli surrounding us. This is one way our brains differentiate between important and unimportant things.

Due to this, our perception of a given situation is not a photographic representation of reality. Rather, it is a unique representation, informed by objective information, our prior beliefs and expectations (called cognitive factors), and our hopes, desires, and emotions (called motivational factors). Motivational and cognitive factors are sometimes intertwined, but they can also function separately.

What are different types of perception bias?

There are many types of bias that can influence our perceptions, whether of objects, others, or ourselves. Although there is no exhaustive list, the following are some common types of perception bias:

Visual Perception. When we look at something, our brains use the information available (like visual cues or prior experience) to make sense of an object. This means that our visual processing of faces can be biased. For example, a person’s group membership may lead us to view their face as untrustworthy. Negative attitudes and beliefs like outgroup bias can have an effect on our visual perception.

Self-perception. People are often biased in their self-perceptions, failing to assess themselves accurately. For example, people may take personal responsibility for successes while denying personal responsibility for failures (self-serving bias), or they may underestimate their performance and abilities, casting themselves in a more negative light (self-effacement bias). When comparing the self to others, people often commit what is known as the false consensus effect, believing that our opinions or behaviors are generalizable to the general population.

Perception bias examples

Example: Perception bias in the workplaceYou are the lead for an important project at work, and your manager asks you to present your progress to the executive board. You spend hours preparing the presentation with your team. After the presentation, your manager congratulates you for your progress and the presentation. In reply, you say “I worked really hard on this,” happy to take all the credit. Since you are the project lead, you believe this praise is fair. However, this is not entirely accurate because you worked as a team. This is an example of a type of perception bias called self-enhancement.

Selective perception bias can help explain why individuals with opposing views tend to find the same media coverage to be biased against them.

Example: Selective perception bias and the “hostile media effect”In one study, researchers took a sample of pro-Israeli, pro-Arab, and neutral college students. They asked them to watch the same set of televised news segments covering the Arab-Israeli conflict, broadcast nationally in the United States over a ten-day period.

Researchers found that each side saw the news coverage as biased in favor of the other side.

Pro-Arab students thought the news segments were generally biased in favor of Israel.

Pro-Israeli students thought the segments were generally biased against Israel.

Neutral students gave opinions that fell between the two groups.

They also found that these disagreements were not simply differences of opinion; they were differences in perception. In particular, pro-Arab and pro-Israeli students also differed in their perceptions of the number of favorable and unfavorable references that had been made about Israel during the news program.

Pro-Arab students reported that 42 percent of the references to Israel had been favorable, and only 26 percent had been unfavorable.

Pro-Israeli students recalled 57 percent of the references to Israel as having been unfavorable and only 16 percent as having been favorable.

The researchers concluded that individuals with strong preexisting attitudes on an issue perceive media coverage as unfairly biased against their side and in favor of their opponents’ point of view. This happens because when people become committed to a particular cause or opinion, their perceptions often change in order to remain consistent with this commitment.

How to reduce perception bias

Although it is not possible to entirely eliminate perception bias, there are ways to reduce it. More specifically, when you make a decision or form an impression of someone, you can ask yourself the following questions:

Do I have a motive that makes me see things a certain way?

What are my expectations from this situation or decision?

Have I discussed my thoughts or opinions with people who don’t agree with me?

If you find yourself making absolute statements about others, using strong words like “always” or “all,” ask yourself how accurate this is, and whether you have evidence to back up your claim.

Other types of research bias Frequently asked questions about perception bias

What is an everyday life example of perception bias?

A real-life example of perception bias is the false consensus effect. Because we spend most of our time with friends, family, and colleagues who share the same opinions or values we do, we are often misled to believe that the majority of people think or act in ways similar to us. This explains, for instance, why some people take office supplies home: they may genuinely feel that this behavior is more common than it really is.

Why is perception bias a problem?

Perception bias is a problem because it prevents us from seeing situations or people objectively. Rather, our expectations, beliefs, or emotions interfere with how we interpret reality. This, in turn, can cause us to misjudge ourselves or others. For example, our prejudices can interfere with whether we perceive people’s faces as friendly or unfriendly.

What is selective perception?

Selective perception is the unconscious process by which people screen, select, and notice objects in their environment. During this process, information tends to be selectively perceived in ways that align with existing attitudes, beliefs, and goals.

Although this allows us to concentrate only on the information that is relevant for us at present, it can also lead to perception bias. For example, while driving, if you become hyper-focused on reaching your exit on a highway, your brain may filter visual stimuli so that you can only focus on things you need to notice in order to exit the highway. However, this can also cause you to miss other things happening around you on the road.

Cite this Scribbr article

Nikolopoulou, K. Retrieved July 19, 2023,

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What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability to effectively analyze information and form a judgment.

To think critically, you must be aware of your own biases and assumptions when encountering information, and apply consistent standards when evaluating sources.

Critical thinking skills help you to:

Identify credible sources

Evaluate and respond to arguments

Assess alternative viewpoints

Test hypotheses against relevant criteria

Why is critical thinking important?

Critical thinking is important for making judgments about sources of information and forming your own arguments. It emphasizes a rational, objective, and self-aware approach that can help you to identify credible sources and strengthen your conclusions.

Critical thinking is important in all disciplines and throughout all stages of the research process. The types of evidence used in the sciences and in the humanities may differ, but critical thinking skills are relevant to both.

In academic writing, critical thinking can help you to determine whether a source:

Is free from research bias

Provides evidence to support its research findings

Considers alternative viewpoints

Outside of academia, critical thinking goes hand in hand with information literacy to help you form opinions rationally and engage independently and critically with popular media.

Critical thinking examples

Critical thinking can help you to identify reliable sources of information that you can cite in your research paper. It can also guide your own research methods and inform your own arguments.

Outside of academia, critical thinking can help you to be aware of both your own and others’ biases and assumptions.

Academic examples

Example: Good critical thinking in an academic contextYou’re writing a research paper on recent innovations in diabetes treatments. You read an article that claims positive results for an at-home treatment that was recently developed. The results of the research are impressive, and the treatment seems to be groundbreaking.

However, when you compare the findings of the study with other current research, you determine that the results seem improbable. You analyze the paper again, consulting the sources it cites.

You notice that the research was funded by the pharmaceutical company that created the treatment. Because of this, you view its results skeptically and determine that more independent research is necessary to confirm or refute them.

Example: Poor critical thinking in an academic contextYou’re researching a paper on the impact wireless technology has had on developing countries that previously did not have large-scale communications infrastructure. You read an article that seems to confirm your hypothesis: the impact is mainly positive. Rather than evaluating the research methodology, you accept the findings uncritically.

In this instance, you have failed to engage with the source critically and have displayed confirmation bias in accepting its conclusions based on a belief you already held.

Nonacademic examples

Example: Good critical thinking in a nonacademic contextYou are thinking about upgrading the security features of your home. You want to install an alarm system but are unsure what brand is the most reliable. You search home improvement websites and find a five-star review article of an alarm system. The review is positive. The alarm seems easy to install and reliable.

However, you decide to compare this review article with consumer reviews on a different site. You find that these reviews are not as positive. Some customers have had problems installing the alarm, and some have noted that it activates for no apparent reason.

Example: Poor critical thinking in a nonacademic contextYou support a candidate in an upcoming election. You visit an online news site affiliated with their political party and read an article that criticizes their opponent. The article claims that the opponent is inexperienced in politics. You accept this without evidence, because it fits your preconceptions about the opponent.

In this case, you failed to look critically at the claims of the article and check whether they were backed up with evidence because you were already inclined to believe them.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

Try for free

How to think critically

There is no single way to think critically. How you engage with information will depend on the type of source you’re using and the information you need.

However, you can engage with sources in a systematic and critical way by asking certain questions when you encounter information. Like the CRAAP test, these questions focus on the currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose of a source of information.

When encountering information, ask:

Who is the author? Are they an expert in their field?

What do they say? Is their argument clear? Can you summarize it?

When did they say this? Is the source current?

Where is the information published? Is it an academic article? Is it peer-reviewed?

Why did the author publish it? What is their motivation?

How do they make their argument? Is it backed up by evidence? Does it rely on opinion, speculation, or appeals to emotion? Do they address alternative arguments?

Critical thinking also involves being aware of your own biases, not only those of others. When you make an argument or draw your own conclusions, you can ask similar questions about your own writing:

Am I only considering evidence that supports my preconceptions?

Is my argument expressed clearly and backed up with credible sources?

Would I be convinced by this argument coming from someone else?

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