How to Improve Critical Thinking
Many well-known problems of human reasoning disappear once you get a group of people together and let them talk about it.
It's a good way to see your ideas refuted or let stronger ideas win the day. Although there’s a risk of group think and conformity pressures, if you take a large and diverse enough group, you’re more likely to be exposed to the best reasoning, which will tend to win out over the majority opinion.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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...doesn’t happen because you’ve studied some abstract logical form and come to valid deductions.
It happens because you know enough about how the world works to rule out certain possibilities as being unlikely or impossible.
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Researchers identified six predictable levels of critical thinkers:
These are people who don't reflect on thinking nor consider the consequences of not thinking. Their prejudices and misconceptions lead them.
They do not consistently apply standards like accuracy, relevance, precision, and logic.
People at this intellectual stage are aware of the importance of thinking and know that the lack of thinking can result in major issues.
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Employers need critical thinkers, but they cannot find them.
Focussing on knowledge only in college does not seem to help. Neither does it help to only focus on intellectual and cognitive sk...
Considering the K-12 system, we see that the emphasis on skills over content has changed the curriculum. Students increasingly focus on learning skills, but they may not learn too much history or science.
Critical thinking is not enough on its own. It needs to be used to gain insight from studying meaningful subject matter, like history or economics or physics or chemistry.
Critical thinking is a disciplined activity. It is not something we can acquire without intensive study and practice, nor can we isolate it from knowledge. Knowledge is foundational to provide the structure to do deep thinking.
Only with some background knowledge, can we apply the skills of critical thinking to problems and texts, understand the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and offer creative solutions.
We overestimate our comprehension of the science.
Part of the problem seems to be that we infer our understanding of scientific text based on how well we have comprehended the language used. This “fluency bias” can also apply to science lectures when it is delivered by an engaging speaker.
One study found that participants were far more likely to support new evidence when it had a graphic visualisation of the correlational evidence than if they had read the same evidence without a graphic.
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