Week 7 Intro To Critical ThinkingPresentation Transcript
Introduction to Critical Thinking GXEX1406 Thinking and Communication Skills
What is critical thinking?
Cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed to effectively:
Identify, analyze and evaluate arguments and truth claims
Discover and overcome personal prejudices and biases
Formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions
To make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what is true
What does not thinking critically look like?
Blindly reproducing old learned reactions
Blindly accepting face value all justifications of organizations & political leaders
Blindly believe TV commercials
Blindly trust political commercials
Blindly accept and say that if the textbook says it, it must be so
Blindly accept and say that if the organization does it, it must be right
What does Critical Thinking Look Like?
Contextual sensitivity - being sensitive to stereotypes about people of particular group & accept others at face value unconditionally
Perspective thinking - trying to get into other person's head, or walk in other’s shoes to see the world way that person sees it
Tolerance for ambiguity - ability to accept multiple interpretations of same situation
What are the Major Concepts in Critical Thinking?
You will learn all these major concepts throughout the course
Something else is needed
More to Critical Thinking than just cognitive skills
Human beings are more than just thinking machines
Need “the Critical Spirit” (affective dispositions)
A probing inquisitiveness
A keenness of mind
A zealous dedication to reason
A hunger or eagerness for reliable information
Critical thinkers strive for these intellectual standards
Why is Critical Thinking of Value?
You can answer—why of value to you?
What’s value of cognitive skills?
What’s value of the critical spirit?
Would these mean more success at what you do?
Would it mean better grades for students?
Grades – Yes!
1,100 college students
Significant correlation between CT scores & college GPA
Critical Thinking skills can be learned
Significant correlation between Critical Thinking and Reading Comprehension
Main Purpose of College Experience
Achievement of liberal (liberated) education. It’s about
Learning to learn
Learning to think for one’s self
Leads away from naïve acceptance of authority
Leads above self-defeating relativism
Beyond ambiguous contextualism
Culminates in principled, reflective judgment
So..the benefits of critical thinking
In the classroom….
Understand materials you are studying
Critically evaluate what you are learning
Develop your own arguments on particular issues
In the workplace….
Analyze information, draw appropriate conclusions
Avoid making foolish decisions
Help to free us from unexamined assumptions, dogmas & prejudices
If critical thinking is so important, why is that uncritical thinking is so common?
Barriers to critical thinking
Lack of relevant background information
Poor reading skills
Resistance to change
Cont…. (barriers to critical thinking) – THE MAJOR HINRANCES
Egocentrism (self-centred thinking)
Sociocentrism (group-centred thinking)
All these play a powerful role in hindering critical thinking
EGOCENTRISM – the tendency to view one’s own interests, ideas and values as superior to everyone’s else SELF-INTERESTED THINKING – tendency to accept and defend beliefs that harmonize one’s own self-interest SELF-SERVING BIAS – tendency to overrate oneself
Are you overconfident in your belief?
Activity 1: Make a low and high guess such that you are 90 percent sure the correct answer falls between the two. Your challenge is to be neither too narrow (I.e overconfident) nor too wide (underconfident)
The number of Malaysia’s Internet users
(90% confidence range)
LOW - ?
HIGH - ?
Sociocentrism: group-centred thinking
Group bias – the tendency to see one’s own group as being inherently better than others
Herd instinct (conformism) – the tendency to follow the crowd
Unwarranted Assumptions & Stereotyping
Assumption – something taken for granted, something we believe to be true without any proof or conclusive evidence
Unwarranted assumption – something taken for granted without good reason
Stereotyping – making a hasty generalization
Believing something not because you had good evidence for it but simply because you wished it were true.
Believing something because it makes one feel good, not because there is good rational grounds for thinking it is true.
Activity 2 - Refer to the handout. Read the story and answer the questions that follow:
Answer the following
Which one did you choose? Why?
As you read, you probably imagined what the characters looked like. From the image you had of them, describe the following characters in a few sentences:
Lieutenant Ashley Morganstern
What is the relationship between Dr Brown and Marie Brown?
Get into your group. Discuss the followings
Compare your responses to Questions 1 & 3? Is there any consensus in the group?
Look at your portrait of Dr Brown. How many assumptions did you make about the doctor’s gender, age, appearance, and profession? What evidence in the story supports your image of the doctor?
Look at your portraits of the other characters. What similarities do you find among your group members?
Read Bassham’s Critical thinking – Chapter 1
Critical thinkers exhibit a number of traits that distinguish them from uncritical thinkers