Develop your CRITICAL THINKING skills - easily!
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Are you one of the 9 out of 10 people out there who could do with a brain boost?
A lot of the above problems really boil down to you being able to think more logically and rationally and being able to present your point across in a clear and convincing way.
That's where improving your critical thinking skills is important.
Simply put, critical thinking skills help you think better and smarter.
Developing your critical thinking skills is not as hard as you might think. In this, one of the comprehensively structured courses in critical thinking, we provide you with a simple and fun way to do just that.
Warning - this is not your typical dry academic course in logic and philosophy! We take some elements of logic and philosophy, but are more interested in getting people to apply those ideas in in the real-world.
Boost your brainpower in just a few days!
How? I explain in very simple terms each key step in the critical thinking process that is designed to build up your confidence as a critical thinker.
You'll learn quickly and effectively with easy-to-digest videos that cover basic concepts along with practical examples. What can be better than spending less than 5 minutes each day picking up a new critical thinking concept or idea?
You will be using your portfolio of critical skills in no time!
And because the videos are small digestible chunks and easily indexed, you can quickly review and remind yourself of what you have learned. I've specifically designed the course in this way so it's like having your own personal library on tap at any time - and remember, you get lifetime access for only US$49!
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Desktop, iOS and Android.
Certificate of completion.
|Section 1: Getting What Critical Thinking Is All About|
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally
|FatFoe pads are scientifically proven to help reduce weight without the need to diet!|
|We can examine product advertisements more carefully using critical thinking|
Because of their large unusual geometrical patterns, “croppies” believe that crop circles were created by UFOs and alien beings
The are many situations where thinking critically will be important
If we don't think critically we effectively become robots that just follow instructions!
|Critical thinking skills lead to more productive problem-solving at work|
|Here are four different definitions of critical thinking|
There is a significant difference between a critical thinking process and a non-critical thinking process.
A critical thinking process requires rigor and discipline.
Critical thinking involves learning “how” to think rather than “what” to think
There are many benefits to critical thinking including the ability to solve problems more quickly and ask relevant questions
|There are many impediments to critical thinking such as laziness, bias and habitual thinking patterns|
|As in a court of law, evidence plays an integral role in determining whether or not an argument is to be believed|
Critical thinking involves thinking logically about problems
Critical thinking involves creating a sound and believable argument, or evaluating whether an argument is such
|Section 2: So How Do Critical Thinkers Think?|
|The three modes of character integration represent three distinct types of thinking personality|
We may not all be at the same level of Albert Einstein but we can learn from how other critical thinkers think.
|Critical thinkers are much more organised and methodical in their approach as compared to non-critical thinkers|
|Great problem-solvers possess a number of important traits|
|Critical thinking differs from non-critical thinking in a variety of different ways|
|The following unscientific but fun 10 minute test can be used to determine if you think like a critical thinker|
|Bloom's learning taxonomy illustrates what critical thinking is and how it differs from creative thinking|
|Robert Ennis identifies several characteristics of the critical thinking process|
|Section 3: Firstly Recognising the Problem|
A problem is something that requires a solution, decision or response
|The following shows an example of a vague argument|
|An example of how problems which are framed differently provide two completely different perspectives|
|Framing is how we perceive an issue or problem|
There are 4 main causes of poor framing
need to distinguish between real
problems which are either imagined,
over-exaggerated or mis-guided
interpretations of a
we need to verify that the problem is real
|It is important to ascertain that a problem is indeed a deserving problem|
|We need to first accept that a problem exists
People only tend to act on problems when they feel a sense of ownership
Individuals might be aware of a problem but choose to ignore it
Stakeholders in problem-solving
An unspecified or anonymous source is used as part of an argument, usually with the intent of adding credibility to the argument by providing an imagined authority for a piece of evidence
|Ownership may be single or joint|
|A critical thinker seeks to understand the root cause of a problem not just the effects of a problem|
|Being precise about a problem is almost always a good thing because it helps you determine if the problem is a genuine one, and how serious it might be
|This exercise will help you think about prioritisation|
Correlation, can be viewed as “co-relation”, or a relationship between two things that happen at the same time
Causation is when one thing causes another thing, or a cause-and-effect relationship
False precision gives the illusion of precision to make an argument appear stronger than it really is
Handling vague arguments
|We can prioritise problems based on impact and urgency|
|Section 4: Getting To The Point! Understanding The Argument|
|What is the problem, how it is framed and what is the argument?|
|Arguments are at the centre of critical thinking - we look at arguments rationally rather than emotionally|
|We either make an argument to convince people to believe something or evaluate an argument that has been presented to us to decide whether to believe it|
|Formal arguments rely on formal logic; informal arguments rely on informal logic|
|The killer robot example shows the difference between formal and informal logic|
|An argument has two parts - the claim or conclusion - and the evidence or reasons that support the claim or conclusion|
|An argument may have multiple premises and sub-premises as often seen in longer and more complex arguments|
|A conclusion can be placed before or after the premises
Indicators are keywords used to identify the conclusion or premises in an argument
|An assertion is a point of view without any supporting reasons or premises|
|Which of the following are arguments?|
A complex argument is more difficult to analyse than a simple one
Critical thinkers are not put-off by complex arguments; a complex argument may take longer to analyse but the basic process is the same
|The 2008 global financial crisis is a good topic that highlights the nature of real-world arguments|
|Real-world arguments tend to be incoherent, messy and disorganised|
|The persuasiveness of an argument depends on logos, ethos and pathos|
|Identify whether the following statements are examples of logos, ethos or pathos|
|A critical thinker ignores the emotion and tone in an argument|
|The example illustrates the use of emotion in argument|
|"Appeal to emotion" fallacy is used to call into question the motive of a person or organisation regardless of how tenuous or unlikely the motive may be|
In an "appeal to flattery" fallacy flattery is used in an attempt to gain support
A strong argument is one where the premises are reasonable and the conclusions reasonably follow from the premises
A weak argument is one where one or more premises are unreasonable, or when the conclusion does not reasonably follow from the premises
Bias distorts our perspective and affects our judgment, often subconsciously without us realising it
What do these statements have in common?
Prejudice is a pre-concieved judgement towards an individual or group of individuals based on unfounded beliefs or attitudes
Prejudice often results in negative feelings, sterotyping, rejection or discrimination
|Section 5: Gathering The Evidence That Supports An Argument|
The main purpose of evidence is either to
1)Support a claim that we are making
2)Evaluate whether a claim can be believed
|The primary means of collecting evidence is by asking questions|
The Kipling method advocates
6 critical kinds of question, namely, what, why, when, how, where and who.
The idea of the 5 whys is to dig deeper to understand the root cause of a problem and understand why a problem is happening in the first place
Socrates was a famous philosopher and educator who taught by asking questions; he defined six main types of question
A questioning strategy is about asking questions in a thoughtfuland purposeful manner to arrive at a point of decision-making in an efficient manner
|There are several different types of exploratory questions|
|Failure to elucidate is a logical fallacy where a response is given that adds little or any additional significant information|
|We have a tendency to drift in the search for information due to various biases|
Base-rate fallacy is where a judgment is made that disregards existing information on probability and instead takes into account irrelevant information
|Section 6: Evaluating The Evidence - Does It Stack Up?|
|We need to evaluate the quality of data that has been collected or provided in support of an argument|
A tool for evaluating the quality of information sources - originally designed for academic use
The fallacy of anecdotal evidence is where generalisations are made on the basis of anecdotal, and often insufficient, evidence
A non-credible witness is someone we doubt
In legal terms, a credible witness is one whose testimony can be believed
If we meet someone for the first time, or are doing business with another company for the first time, how do we establish the credibility of the individual or the organisation?
Five aspects of credibility
Facts can be verified through observation or an established point of reference such as a book or acknowledged expert
Opinions can only be evaluated not verified
An observation is made by gathering data from sight, smell, touch or other senses
An inference is a conclusion one derives based on a set of assumptions
|Universal intellectual standards are questions which can applied to thinking whenever one is interested in checking the quality of reasoning about a problem or situation|
|Are the following statements factual or opinion?|
|In critical thinking we should not confuse facts with opinion|
|Section 7: Avoiding Cognitive Bias and Logical Fallacies!|
|Look at the two lines - which is longer?|
Anchoring is the tendency to rely on past reference, an “anchor” when making a decision
A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning
|There are five main types of logically fallacy, 1) irrelevant appeal, 2) personal attack, 3) presumption, 4) faulty generalisations and 5) distractions|
The use of a person or institution of authority, stature or repute as a premise to support a conclusion
A claim that something is true because many other people also alledgedly believe its true
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