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Thinking Critically in Psychology Introduction to Psychology Simon Fraser University.

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1 Thinking Critically in Psychology Introduction to Psychology Simon Fraser University

2 Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction group of 46 “experts” used to articulate definition of Critical Thinking (CT) Philosophy – 52% Education – 22% Social Sciences – 20% Physical Sciences – 6% CT found to include both skill and dispositional dimensions six “core” cognitive skills seven dispositions

3 CONSENSUS STATEMENT REGARDING CRITICAL THINKING AND THE IDEAL CRITICAL THINKER We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based. CT is essential as a tool of inquiry. As such, CT is a liberating force in education and a powerful resource in one's personal and civic life. While not synonymous with good thinking, CT is a pervasive and self-rectifying human phenomenon. The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. Thus, educating good critical thinkers means working toward this ideal. It combines developing CT skills with nurturing those dispositions which consistently yield useful insights and which are the basis of a rational and democratic society.


5 Interpretation To comprehend and express the meaning or significance of a wide variety of experiences, situations, data, events, judgments, conventions, beliefs, rules, procedures or criteria.

6 Interpretation – Sub-Skills Categorization Decoding Significance Clarifying Meaning

7 Analysis To identify the intended and actual inferential relationships among statements, questions, concepts, descriptions or other forms of representation intended to express beliefs, judgments, experiences, reasons, information, or opinions.

8 Analysis – Sub-Skills Examining Ideas Identifying Arguments Analyzing Arguments

9 Evaluation To assess the credibility of statements or other representations which are accounts or descriptions of a person's perception, experience, situation, judgment, belief, or opinion; and to assess the logical strength of the actual or intend inferential relationships among statements, descriptions, questions or other forms of representation.

10 Evaluation– Sub-Skills Assessing Claims Assessing Arguments

11 Inference To identify and secure elements needed to draw reasonable conclusions; to form conjectures and hypotheses; to consider relevant information and to educe the consequences flowing from data, statements, principles, evidence, judgments, beliefs,opinions, concepts, descriptions, questions, or other forms of representation.

12 Inference – Sub-Skills Querying Evidence Conjecturing Alternatives Drawing Conclusions

13 Explanation To state the results of one's reasoning; to justify that reasoning in terms of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological and contextual considerations upon which one's results were based; and to present one's reasoning in the form of cogent arguments.

14 Explanation – Sub-Skills Stating Results Justifying Procedures Presenting Arguments

15 Self-Regulation Self-consciously to monitor one's cognitive activities, the elements used in those activities, and the results educed, particularly by applying skills in analysis and evaluation to one's own inferential judgments with a view toward questioning, confirming, validating, or correcting either one's reasoning or one's results.

16 Self-Regulation – Sub-Skills Self-examination Self-correction


18 Skepticism APA report on undergraduate education students develop skills in  learning  critical thinking  reasoning students should become “amiable skeptics” about the information they encounter

19 Some tools that skeptics use:  Differentiating between fact and opinion  Recognizing and evaluating author bias and rhetoric  Determining cause-and-effect relationships  Determining the accuracy and completeness of information  Recognizing logical fallacies and faulty reasoning  Comparing and contrasting information and points of view  Developing inferential skills  Making judgments and drawing logical conclusions

20 The CRITIC Acronym CClaim? RRole of the claimant? IInformation backing the claim? TTest? IIndependent testing? CCause proposed?

21 The CRITIC Acronym Claim what claim is being made? can claim be assessed? is claim falsifiable?

22 The CRITIC Acronym Role of the Claimant who is making the claim? is the claimant objective/unbiased?  does claimant have something to gain?

23 The CRITIC Acronym Information backing the claim? what evidence is cited to support claim?  how reliable is evidence?  where was evidenced obtained?  can evidence be replicated?

24 The CRITIC Acronym Test? how was claim tested?  proper controls used?  internal validity of experiment?  correlation vs. causation?

25 The CRITIC Acronym Independent testing? is there an independent/unbiased test of the claim?  replication?

26 The CRITIC Acronym Cause Proposed? is the causal explanation for the claim plausible?

27 The Skeptical Inquirer Near Death Experiences Darkness, Tunnels, and Light

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