Critical Thinking

Topics: Critical thinking, Morality, Decision making Pages: 2 (416 words) Published: October 17, 2010
Critical thinking is beneficial for many reasons. It can help students do better in school by improving their ability to understand, construct, and criticize arguments. It can help people succeed in their careers by improv¬ing their ability to solve problems, think creatively, and communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. It can also reduce the likelihood of making serious mistakes in important personal decisions, promote democratic pro¬cesses by improving the quality of public decision making, and liberate and empower individuals by freeing them from the unexamined assumptions, dogmas, and prejudices of their upbringing, their society, and their age. Major barriers to critical thinking include egocentrism, sociocentrism, unwarranted assumptions, relativistic thinking, and wishful thinking. / Egocentrism is the tendency to see reality as centered on oneself. Two com¬mon forms of egocentrism are self-interested thinking (the tendency to accept and defend beliefs that accord with one's own self-interest) and self-serving bias (the tendency to overrate oneself). Sociocentrism is group-centered thinking. Two common varieties of sociocentrism are group bias (the tendency to see one's culture or group as being better than others) and conformism (the tendency to conform, often unthinkingly, to authority or to group standards of conduct and belief). Unwarranted assumptions are things we take for granted without good reason. Often, unwarranted assumptions take the form of stereotypes. Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people in which iden¬tical characteristics are assigned to all or virtually all members of the group, often without regard to whether such attributions are accurate. Relativistic thinking is thinking that is based on the idea that there is no "objective" or "absolute" truth because truth is simply a matter of opin¬ion. The most popular form of relativism is moral relativism, which holds...
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