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What is it, anyway? Critical thinking: searching, plotting, making associations, explaining, analyzing, probing for multiple angles, justifying, scrutinizing, making decisions, solving problems, and investigating It is literally thing about something from many angles Critical thinking is about making informed, enlightened, educated, open-minded decisions in college, in relationships, in finances, and in life in general
What can critical thinking do for you? Can help you focus on issues Gather relevant, accurate information , remember facts, organize thoughts logically, analyze questions and problems, and manage your priorities It can assist in your problem solving skills and help you control your emotions so that you can make rational judgments It can help you produce new knowledge through research and analysis and help you determine the accuracy of printed and spoken words
What does critical thinking involve? Restraining emotions Looking at things differently Analyzing information Asking questions Solving problems Distinguishing fact from opinion Seeking truth in argument and persuasion
Restraining Emotion You do not have to eliminate emotions from your thoughts, but it is crucial that you know when your emotions are clouding an issue Be sure you listen to all sides of the argument or statement before you make a decision or form an opinion Do not let your emotions make you withdraw or turn you away from the situation Work to understand why others feel their side is valid
Looking at Things Differently Critical thinking involves looking at an issue from many different angles It encourages you to dog deeper than you have before
Analyzing Information It involves analyzing information To analyze, you break a topic, statement, or problem into parts to understand it more clearly An easy way to analyze is to create a chart of the information using right and left hand columns
Asking Questions If you could meet anyone on earth and ask five questions, who would you meet, why would you meet that person, and what questions would you ask?
Solving Problems There are many ways to address and solve problems It is important to remember that every problem does have a solution but the solution may not be what we wanted Identify and narrow the problem; put your problem in writing Research and develop alternatives Use brainstorming
Distinguishing Fact from Opinion Opinions surface more often than facts A fact is something that can be proven, something that can be objectively verified An opinion is a statement that is held to be true, but one that has no objective proof Statements that cannot be proved should always be treated as opinion When in doubt, ask questions
Seeking Truth in Arguments and Persuasions As you develop your critical thinking skills, you will begin to recognize the illogical nature of thoughts, the falsehoods of statements, the deception in some advertisements, and the irrational fears used to persuade Ex: ad hominem- when someone initiates a personal attack on a person rather than listening to and rationally debating his or her ideas; slander Bandwagon- tries to convince you to do something just because everyone else is doing it (peer pressure) Straw argument- attacks the opponent’s argument to make one’s own argument stronger; it does not necessarily make argument A stronger; it simply discounts argument B
Creative Thinking You are introducing something that is uniquely yours You’ve examined a situation and developed a new way of explaining information, delivering a product, or using an item Creative thinking and critical thinking both require that you “loosen up” your brain and be more flexible in your approaches and tactics
Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way” In “The Artist’s Way”, Julia Cameron suggests that there are basic principles in creativity: 1) Creativity is the natural order of life 2) There is an underlying, indwelling creative force infusing all of life 3) We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to create ourselves 4) The refusal to be creative is counter to our true nature
Next Time… Read Chapter 10. Be prepared for a quiz on Chapter 10 and the vocabulary words.