Critical Thinking

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Week 2 Lesson 1

Critical Thinking
Amanda Pochatko

Obstacles to CT
Critical Thinking is hard and requires awareness, practice, and motivation Two main categories of obstacles Psychological (how we think) Philosophical (what we think)

Psychological Obstacles
No one is immune to these types of obstacles Our fears, attitudes, motivations, and desires all play into this category of obstacles Can be countered with awareness

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Week 2 Lesson 1

I often doubt my view of things. I don't mind being wrong. I look for valid criticisms, so I can improve. I know I can usually correct my mistakes.

1 2 3 4 5 My view of things is always correct. 12345 12345 I hate to be wrong. Criticisms of me are not true.

1 2 3 4 5 It is very important to never make a mistake. If you contradict me, you are obviously wrong.

If you contradict me, I look to see if 1 2 3 4 5 you are correct.

If you make a good argument I can 1 2 3 4 5 I automatically defend my easily change my view. viewpoint, no matter what the other person says. It doesn't bother me to loose an argument. 12345 It does bother me to loose an argument. Other people's arguments are worthless. My view is the real truth.

I look for the value in other people's 1 2 3 4 5 arguments. The real truth is more important than 1 2 3 4 5 my view.

Self-interesting or Egocentric thinking
"IT'S TRUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT."

Innate egocentrism: I assume that what I believe is true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of my beliefs.

"IT'S TRUE BECAUSE I WANT TO BELIEVE IT." Innate wish fulfillment: I believe in, for example, accounts of behavior that put me (or the groups to which I belong) in a positive rather than a negative light even though I have not seriously considered the evidence for the more negative account. I believe what "feels good," what supports my other beliefs, what does not require me to change my thinking in any significant way, what does not require me to admit that I have been wrong.

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Week 2 Lesson 1

"IT'S TRUE BECAUSE I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED IT." Innate self-validation: I have a strong desire to maintain beliefs that I have long held, even though I have not seriously considered the extent to which those beliefs are justified, given the evidence. "IT'S TRUE BECAUSE IT IS IN MY SELFISH INTEREST TO BELIEVE IT.“ Innate selfishness: I hold fast to beliefs that justify my getting more power, money, or personal advantage even though these beliefs are not grounded in sound reasoning or evidence.

Group-thinking or Sociocentrism
We are naturally group oriented This mode of thought can lead to pressure from the group to think or do things you might not do or think on your own The result is a conformist society "IT'S TRUE BECAUSE WE BELIEVE IT."

Innate sociocentrism: I assume that the dominant beliefs within the groups to which I belong are true even though I have never questioned the basis for many of these beliefs.

Peer Pressure
“I won’t wear those shoes because my friends think they are lame.” “I’m going to drive after I had a couple beers everyone else at the party is and they’re ok.” “I support –insert candidate here- because my friends say he/she is the best.”

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Week 2 Lesson 1

Popular American notions
Communism and socialism are evil. There exists a single God who is all good and all powerful, and who intervenes in the lives of His creation. The two-party format is the best way to structure our political system. Capitalism is the best economic system ever devised. Anybody can grow up to be President of the U.S.

Money is the root of all evil. Money can’t buy happiness. Women are passive and men are aggressive. It’s okay, even normal, for males to be sexually promiscuous, but not females. Women make better nurses than men do. People should marry for love, not money.

Common Practices
Speeding on the highway Exaggerating on your resume Cheating in school Not reporting all income on you taxes

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