Presentation on theme: "Critical Thinking. Definition: Evaluating whether we should be convinced that a claim is true or that an argument is good. It’s also about formulating."— Presentation transcript:
Definition: Evaluating whether we should be convinced that a claim is true or that an argument is good. It’s also about formulating good arguments. Critical thinking prevents bad decision making. It’s a process which a person tries to answer rationally those questions that can’t be easily or definitively answered and to which all relevant information may not be available. Thus, it requires judgment. It is based on evidence. It’s an evaluation of ideas, information, and opinions based on evidence and/or logical reasoning to reach a sound conclusion.
Often times, critical thinking is a matter of judgment. A lot of evaluating is subjective and that’s ok. Critical thinking requires us to explore a situation, questions, problem; and arrive at a hypothesis or conclusion about it that integrates all available information and thus can be convincingly justified. There are 2 elements of critical thinking: claims and arguments. Think: When was the last time someone tried to persuade you?
When we discover or are introduced to new information, we need to subject it to rigorous testing along with a wide range of creative solutions to complex problems. Many people think they are critical thinkers, but in actuality they are not. Argumentation, then is the foundation of critical thinking. It focuses on inquiry and advocacy, thus it provides a rigorous methodology to discover information, test ideas, explore alternative, and critique information.
Again: critical thinking emphasizes a rational basis for beliefs and provides a set of standards and procedures for testing and evaluating them. Even the word “rational” is very publicly debated. Can you think of some examples? Our decisions are bounded by many factors: we make decisions based on the information that is available to us. All information is distorted to some extent. Many times we are too lazy to take full advantage of the information that is available. Can you think of some examples of this?
Other times, we don’t make any attempt to analyze before making important decisions (more thought into buying a car than making a baby). Critical thinking is not the same as disagreement. Rather, we examine the reasons behind an opposing viewpoint. We decide if opposing claims are justifiable. Critical thinking does not aim to embarrass or humiliate others. It does not entail nitpicking where we get so overly focused on trivial details. Critical thinking should be applied to our own beliefs, not just others’ beliefs.
Critical thinking must be based on clearly focused statements. Muddled arguing/thinking is apparent when people lose sight of the point/s of the issue: –Critical thinking requires clarifying the meaning of terms central to the argument. –Example: What does “fair” mean in terms of Affirmative Action? When using critical thinking skills in developing and applying criteria for evaluation, we must also justify our own values and to present evidence to support our own arguments.
Barriers To Critical Thinking Perception: forgetting that we have our own frame of reference (Idaho in-laws). Too much reliance on personal experience: Because I experienced this way, that is the way it is. Too much reliance on authority or cultural norms to the extent we stop thinking for ourselves. Hasty moral judgments. Judgments based on looks, background, associations rather than facts. Absolutism: all or nothing thinking. Issues are seen in either/or terms with no allowances or exceptions Egocentricity: the natural inclination to favor and defend our values over others. Ethnocentricity: natural inclination to favor and defend our culture and cultural values over others. (or the opposite: “Hate America First” crowd )
Critical Thinking Involves Other Processes Avoiding oversimplification and refining generalizations. Generating/assessing solutions to problems. Analyze problems before proposing solutions. Comparing perspectives, interpretations, theories. Seeking out information that disagree with our own perspective. Reading critically. Listening critically. Seriously considers opposing viewpoints. Anticipates objections to one’s position. Monitors our own effectiveness and chooses the most effective from a wide range of possibilities. There is no absolute assurance of our conclusions.