10 things that cause a lack of critical thinking in society

Critical thinking is an important skill. Learning to think critically will benefit you in many different ways and for the rest of your life. 

Many people ignore the rampant lack of critical thinking in society. 

People are too focused on the opinion they’ve already built up to want to go back and re-examine it. 

Sadly, this interferes with many people’s ability to think logically and analytically, which leads them to make poor decisions or believe lies.

But, do you know the things that cause a lack of critical thinking in society? Here are ten of them.

1) Fear 

Fear is the number one reason that people avoid critical thinking. 

Fear prevents people from seeing things clearly and accepting conclusions without bias.

If you are scared by the possibility of seeing something that contradicts what you think or believe, then you will avoid thinking critically. 

This fear makes it really hard to have an open mind and accept the truth when it presents itself. 

So, what types of fear cause a lack of critical thinking? 

Fear of making the wrong life decisions is a big one. 

If you are afraid to make decisions based on logic and reason because you might choose poorly and fail, then you aren’t going to think critically about any of your future plans. 

Instead, you will just focus on trying to avoid failure so that you don’t have to deal with those uncomfortable feelings that come from not meeting your own expectations.

2) People pleasing 

This is just another way of avoiding problems. 

If you are always trying to make other people happy, you may be afraid to say what you really think. 

So, it’s easier for you to say whatever people want to hear so that they will like you. 

For example, you may be afraid to tell a friend they are wrong to believe something they believe because you want to avoid conflict. 

If you worry that this person will dislike you if they can’t have the fantasy of agreeing with you, then you would rather say nothing at all than admit that what you are saying is actually opinion and not fact. 

This type of behavior only serves one purpose: pleasing others so that they will like and agree with what you have to say.

3) Lack of practice 

This is the old saying: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” 

You might think that if you aren’t doing something every day or at least some times during the week, then you are never going to learn how to do it or get better at it. 

But, thinking this way is not useful because it causes you to avoid things that you know are useful. 

For example, if you don’t practice an art like playing a musical instrument, then you will never improve your skill at playing that instrument. 

If you don’t practice driving a car correctly and safely, then your skills will be at their worst. 

As Justin Brown says in his YouTube video below, a person who is afraid to use something will never get better at using it. 

The Importance of Developing Critical Thought

YouTube video

“The more you do something the better you get at it. If you procrastinate and don’t work on your skills and knowledge, then you are never going to get good at it.” 

4) Laziness 

This is a big one. 

We all have our days where we are lazy and procrastinate from doing the things we need to do. 

I think that a lack of critical thinking is a form of laziness as well. If you don’t work at becoming more knowledgeable, then it won’t happen. 

You need to put in your effort and continue working at improving yourself or else you’ll never improve and will never be able to do anything as well as you want or need to do it. 

You might have noticed that society doesn’t encourage a lot of critical thinking. 

In fact, society often teaches people to be lazy thinkers! 

Students are encouraged to memorize as much information as possible and then regurgitate it on tests. 

And, if people are not worried about grades or following the rules, then they can avoid thinking critically most of the time. 

When students are told what is true and how to think, their ability to be thinking independently and critically is stunted.

Believe it or not, this is actually the preferred way to teach in most schools.

5) The way we learn (not being creative and having an average mindset)

I think that being creative is probably the most important quality you can have to get better at critical thinking

If you are always dwelling on what you already know and what everyone else knows, then you’ll never learn or improve. 

Being creative means thinking outside the box and improving yourself in ways you normally wouldn’t think of.

We need to think more critically because it’s important to be creative and analyze what you know in a different way. 

If you aren’t learning how to think critically, then you are making it easier for yourself to accept what everyone says as true. 

Sometimes all you need to do is imagine a situation and think of how you would solve it. 

It is not as complex as it sounds. 

The more you imagine solving a problem, the more likely you are to find a solution even if you haven’t really thought about what a solution might be. 

6) Herd instinct

This is a big problem for society. 

We all want to fit in, and as long as everyone else is doing it, or thinks something is true, then you’ll probably believe it too. 

I think this is probably the worst thing because it causes people to stop thinking critically and to accept everything that everyone else believes as true even if they don’t believe it themselves. 

This is why critical thinking is so important in all areas of life. 

We need to think for ourselves and try enhancing critical thinking skills

If you are always asking yourself “what do other people think about this” or “what’s popular” then you aren’t going to grow as a person or improve yourself. 

Think for yourself. 

Yes, you will make mistakes and find things you don’t like, but at least then you aren’t accepting anything that everyone else says as true. 

7) Complacency

We all hear stories of people who achieve great things and we admire them. 

But, many don’t have the desire to do the same thing because they feel that there is nothing left for them to do. 

But, if you are complacent, then you aren’t going to make any improvements or accomplish anything in life. 

You won’t learn anything new or try new things simply because you are satisfied with where you are now and don’t think there is anything else for you to do. 

One important thing about learning critical thinking is that it requires us to always be trying new things and improving ourselves in order to reach success in life.

8) Fear of failure and being judged

Many people are afraid of failing and becoming judged. 

This aversion to failure causes them to not take risks, which in turn leads to a lack of critical thinking ability. 

It’s ironic really, since nobody can make you fail unless you allow them to. 

If anything it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that creates the failure for you in the first place! 

This is ironic since risk-taking and taking chances are often one of the most important parts of critical thinking ability.

I think this is a very common reason why we aren’t growing or improving ourselves

If you don’t try new things, then you are going to stay where you are and not improve much at all. 

You’d rather stay comfortable than risk failure, criticism, and rejection. 

This is like stopping yourself from trying things because you don’t want to fail or be rejected. 

You have to know that there is always a chance of failure, so don’t avoid trying new things just because you think it’s scary. 

And if you are afraid of being judged by other people or failing then believe me when I say it’s going to happen anyway. 

There is no way to avoid that. 

And the only way around it is by improving yourself and learning how to think critically.

9) Over-reliance on technology

We all love technology. 

It’s better than it used to be and there is more of it these days than ever before. 

But, there are some problems that come with it. 

The biggest problem is that we rely on it so much and forget how to think because we can just look up the answers on our phones or computers. 

It’s easy to do this, but if you don’t know how to think critically, then you won’t know if the information you read is legit or not.

This often leads people to believe things which aren’t true simply because they were told so by someone else or looked up in a search engine such as Google.

10) Everything we hear is true (not practicing critical thinking ourselves)

One big problem that prevents people from using critical thinking skills is that they believe everything they hear and read. 

They don’t think critically because they don’t know how or they are afraid of it, so they just accept whatever everyone else says as true. 

When we are young, we aren’t very good at asking a lot of questions or questioning everything people tell us. 

When we grow older, we should be asking more questions and thinking critically about what people say and what we see on the news. 

We shouldn’t take everything at face value and have to look up all the information on our own. 

We should learn to think because it’s an important thing to do in order to improve ourselves. 

If you are always taking what everyone else says as true, then you won’t learn much about anything and you will remain the same.

How to overcome these problems

If you want to improve your critical thinking skills, then you need to overcome these 10 problems. 

You can do this by thinking about what’s true and what isn’t true (which is often the hardest part because people have a habit of believing everything they read). 

Then, use your critical thinking skills to figure out which things are true and which ones are not. 

By overcoming each of these 10 problems, you will be able to improve your critical thinking skills and develop yourself as a person. 


Critical thinking is a very important skill. 

It’s important to learn because it allows us to see and judge things without being biased by our emotions or biases. 

If we can’t do that, then we can’t make good decisions or live a fulfilling life

I hope I was able to give you some insights into critical thinking, what it is and why you should practice it because if you don’t practice thinking critically, then you won’t be able to improve yourself and the quality of life might be unpredictable. 

Picture of Nguyet Yen Tran

Nguyet Yen Tran

Yen is a freelance writer and a researcher specializing in mental health, self-awareness, and psychology. Her hobby is studying human behavior throughout their reaction upon situations. Be sure to check out her other posts on our blog.

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