Okay, this is pretty interesting.
To me, critical thinking, for a tester, is as important as scoring critical hits in an RPG, even more!
By critical thinking, I don’t just mean being skeptical and suspicious about the functionalities you test, for me it also implies being able to see the bigger picture. What do I mean by this? I mean that a tester who is able to think critically will not just do the most obvious type of testing (the Happy Path) but will also get creative and original about it - although we live in the age of information, we also live in an age of conformism, where users don’t read FAQs (no matter how well written they are), so using applications in a “dumb” way is a very useful approach in testing. We can’t do this if we are not being critical.
I know I’m not say anything mind-blowingly new here, but I feel like I can’t stress this enough, speaking strictly from personal experience, the most severe production issues I have witnessed (and I worked in application support, so I have seen a lot of those) are caused by the fact when the QA just assumes that all users will use the app in an intended way. This is a wrong assumption, there are plenty of people who will use the software in crazy, unexpected, ways and if you aren’t critical about your product, and ignore the Unhappy Path, and potentially dangerous edge cases in your risk analysis, thigs can get nasty - and there is no need if they can be prevented by being critical in our approach.
Just a few of my thought on this topic.