Presentation on theme: "Thinking Critically and Creatively. “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that."— Presentation transcript:
Thinking Critically and Creatively
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Critical thinking is needed to solve the complex problems in the world today.
For example: “Now that I look back, I realize that a life predicated on being obedient and taking orders is a very comfortable life indeed. Living in such a way reduces to a minimum one’s own need to think.” --Adolph Eichman who played a central role in the killing of six million Jews
Fallacies in Reasoning n Patterns of incorrect reasoning
Appeal to A Questionable Authority n Example: Using sports figures to endorse products
Jumping to Conclusions n A hasty generalization n Example: One college student does not pay back a loan. The bank manager concludes that students are poor risks for loans.
Making Generalizations n Assume all members of the group are the same n Example: All lawyers are greedy.
Attacking the Person n We attack the person rather than discussing the issue n Example: Attacking the President to sidetrack the issues
Appeal to Common Belief n Just because it is common belief does not make it true n Example: At one time people believed that the world was flat
Common Practice n If everyone does it, it must be OK n Example: It’s OK to cheat on your taxes. Everyone else does.
Appeal to Tradition n We’ve always done it that way n Example: Some jobs are only for men and others only for women
Two Wrongs n It is OK to do something wrong because other people do it n Example: Someone cuts you off on the freeway so you pull in front and cut them off
Slippery Slope n Dire consequences n Example: If you fail this class, you are a failure for life
Wishful Thinking n An extremely positive outcome is proposed to distract from logic n Example: Get rich quick schemes
Beware of Scams n It’s too good to be true n There is a rush to make a decision n You have to pay money or give your credit card number n High pressure, time limits n Prizes and big promises n The word “free”
Critical Thinking Over the Internet n Beware of appearances. n What is the source? n Why was the information posted? n What is the date of the Web site? n Can the information be verified elsewhere?
Appeal to Fear or Scare Tactics n Emotions interfere with rational thinking n Example: Political advertisements that describe dire consequences
Appeal to Pity n Again, emotions replace logic n Example: Sob story
Appeal to Loyalty n Group behavior, right or wrong n Example: Voting for the candidate who appears most popular
Appeal to Prejudice n A stereotype in which all members of a group are judged to be the same n Example: Racial prejudices
Appeal to Vanity n Making compliments n Example: “Apple polishing”
Post Hoc Reasoning or False Causes n Cause and effect are not related n Example: Superstitions
Straw Men or Women n Create an image of someone else, like a scarecrow, to discredit the person n Example: Political speeches which paint the opponent in an unfavorable light
Cult Behavior n Beliefs for which hard evidence is lacking n Example: Cults such as Heaven’s Gate n The opposite of critical thinking n Blindly following a charismatic leader n Belonging to a group
How to Become a Critical Thinker
Universal Standards to Assure Quality Thinking n Clarity n Accuracy n Precision n Relevance n Depth n Breadth n Logic n Fairness
Alternative Views Issue Person Topic Individual Point of View Based on: Experience Values Beliefs Culture Knowledge
The Critical Thinking Process n State the problem in a clear way n Identify the alternative views n Watch for fallacies in reasoning n Find at least 3 different answers n Construct your own reasonable view
Exercise: Critical Thinking
Tips for Critical Thinking n Beware of your mind-set n Be willing to say, “I don’t know.” n Practice tolerance n Understand different points of view n Understand before criticizing n Emotions get in the way of clear thinking n Examine the source
Questions for Critical Thinkers n Who said it? n What makes the author think so? n So what?
Creative thinking is part of the critical thinking process. Use it for: n Generating alternatives n Thinking of possibilities n Creative problem solving n Creating new ideas n Using more of your potential
The Creative Individual n Asks, “Why?” n Is curious about the world n Looks at many possibilities or alternatives (divergent thinking)
The Three S’s of Creativity n Sensitivity n Synergy n Serendipity
n Uses the senses to discover the world n Asks, “Why does this happen?” n “How can I do this?” n Problem finders as well as problem solvers
n Two or more elements are associated in a new way and the result is greater than the sum of the parts n Example: “Two heads are better than one.”
n Unexpected discoveries n Lucky accidents n Some examples....
Serendiptiy Remember Alexander Fleming?
Serendipity: Duke Ellington
Creative Thinking Techniques
Brainstorming n Quantity without regard to quality as a first step to quality as a first step n Time limit n Goal or quota n Wild and unusual is good n Use synergy by doing it in a group n Use fantasy and imagination n Select the best ideas as a last step
Brainstorming Exercise: The Peanut
Look at your peanut. How is this peanut like you?
Can you come up with 10 answers in 3 minutes?
Let’s hear your creative ideas.
How is this peanut like you? n It’s wrinkled, like me. n It’s brown, like me. n It cracks under pressure. n What you see is not always what you get. n Everyone is different. n It just sits in class.
How is this peanut like going to college? Let’s use some synergy and work together on this one.
How many answers can we come up with in 5 minutes? You can steal other people’s ideas.
How is this peanut like going to college? n There are 2 nuts inside. One is the teacher and one is the student. n We’re all nuts to a degree! n College drives me nuts! n It’s rough. n We both went to class today.
Elements of Creativity n Use the pressure of a time limit. n Use a goal or quota. n Be relaxed. n Suspend judgment. n Focus your attention. n Have fun with it. n Use a different perspective.
Relaxed Attention n The paradox of: n Ho-hum n Aha! n Relax and then focus
Relaxed Attention n Think about it n Relax and let it incubate n The creative inspiration is the aha!
Use Relaxed Attention in Studying n If you get stuck on a problem, relax and come back to it later n You are likely to come up with a creative inspiration while relaxing n Come back to the problem and solve it
Idea Files n Ideas you find interesting n Can you think of examples?
Visualization and Imagination Useful for: n Memory n Relaxation n Creativity
Exercise: Using Visualization and Imagination
Can you make the light go on?
More Creativity Techniques n Read n Keep a journal n Think critically
Keys to Success: Learn to Laugh at Life
Have a laugh at life and look around for happiness instead of sadness. -- Red Skelton
The physical act of smiling makes you feel happier.
If you do not feel happy, smile and pretend to be happy. n Smiling produces seratonin which is a neurotransmitter linked with feelings of happiness
So, smile and be happy. Use your creativity to make some positive changes in your life.