Develop your CRITICAL THINKING skills - easily!

Improve your study, work and decision-making skills with this practical and comprehensive guide to critical thinking
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  • Lectures 125
  • Length 4 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 10/2013 English

Course Description

Are you one of the 9 out of 10 people out there who could do with a brain boost?

  • Falling behind at college because you don't seem to learn as effectively as your peers?
  • Not getting that promotion at work because someone else seems a lot smarter than you?
  • Find yourself making the wrong decisions all the time?
  • Find it difficult to solve problems?
  • Have problems persuading other people?

Don't worry.

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!

What are the requirements?

  • College level education

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Think critically like an expert
  • Recognise and frame problems
  • Build persuasive arguments
  • Gather and systematically evaluate evidence
  • Avoid cognitive bias and fallacies
  • Draw and evaluate conclusions
  • Check assumptions
  • Reason ethically

What is the target audience?

  • This course is for individuals who are interested in improving their thinking skills including students at college, working professionals and adult learners. We do not assume any prior knowledge.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.

Curriculum

Section 1: Getting What Critical Thinking Is All About
01:43

Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally

05:05
FatFoe pads are scientifically proven to help reduce weight without the need to diet!
02:18
We can examine product advertisements more carefully using critical thinking
02:13

Because of their large unusual geometrical patterns, “croppies” believe that crop circles were created by UFOs and alien beings

01:53

The are many situations where thinking critically will be important

00:43

If we don't think critically we effectively become robots that just follow instructions!

01:15
Critical thinking skills lead to more productive problem-solving at work
02:21
Here are four different definitions of critical thinking
01:59

There is a significant difference between a critical thinking process and a non-critical thinking process.

A critical thinking process requires rigor and discipline.

01:47

Critical thinking involves learning “how” to think rather than “what” to think

01:20

There are many benefits to critical thinking including the ability to solve problems more quickly and ask relevant questions

02:05
There are many impediments to critical thinking such as laziness, bias and habitual thinking patterns
02:27
As in a court of law, evidence plays an integral role in determining whether or not an argument is to be believed
01:39

Critical thinking involves thinking logically about problems

01:17

Critical thinking involves creating a sound and believable argument, or evaluating whether an argument is such

Section 2: So How Do Critical Thinkers Think?
02:36
The three modes of character integration represent three distinct types of thinking personality
02:43

We may not all be at the same level of Albert Einstein but we can learn from how other critical thinkers think.

04:09
Critical thinkers are much more organised and methodical in their approach as compared to non-critical thinkers
01:01
Great problem-solvers possess a number of important traits
02:23
Critical thinking differs from non-critical thinking in a variety of different ways
01:53
The following unscientific but fun 10 minute test can be used to determine if you think like a critical thinker
01:48
Bloom's learning taxonomy illustrates what critical thinking is and how it differs from creative thinking
02:19
Robert Ennis identifies several characteristics of the critical thinking process
Section 3: Firstly Recognising the Problem
02:10

A problem is something that requires a solution, decision or response

02:05
The following shows an example of a vague argument
02:26
An example of how problems which are framed differently provide two completely different perspectives
01:27
 Framing is how we perceive an issue or problem 
01:22
There are 4 main causes of poor framing
02:21
We need to distinguish between real problems and problems which are either imagined, over-exaggerated or mis-guided interpretations of a given situation
we need to verify that the problem is real
02:31
It is important to ascertain that a problem is indeed a deserving problem
02:16
We need to first accept that a problem exists

People only tend to act on problems when they feel a sense of ownership

02:07

Individuals might be aware of a problem but choose to ignore it 

Stakeholders in problem-solving
04:10
01:19

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

01:09
Ownership may be single or joint
01:03
A critical thinker seeks to understand the root cause of a problem not just the effects of a problem
02:15
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
01:13
This exercise will help you think about prioritisation
02:59

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

01:39

False precision gives the illusion of precision to make an argument appear stronger than it really is

Handling vague arguments
01:47
02:46
We can prioritise problems based on impact and urgency
Section 4: Getting To The Point! Understanding The Argument
03:04
What is the problem, how it is framed and what is the argument?
01:01
Arguments are at the centre of critical thinking - we look at arguments rationally rather than emotionally
01:14
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
01:59
Formal arguments rely on formal logic; informal arguments rely on informal logic
01:38
The killer robot example shows the difference between formal and informal logic
02:47
An argument has two parts - the claim or conclusion - and the evidence or reasons that support the claim or conclusion
02:41
An argument may have multiple premises and sub-premises as often seen in longer and more complex arguments
02:12
A conclusion can be placed before or after the premises

Indicators are keywords used to identify the conclusion or premises in an argument

00:58
An assertion is a point of view without any supporting reasons or premises
01:26
Which of the following are arguments?
02:17

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

02:24
The 2008 global financial crisis is a good topic that highlights the nature of real-world arguments
01:22
Real-world arguments tend to be incoherent, messy and disorganised
01:26
The persuasiveness of an argument depends on logos, ethos and pathos
02:20
Identify whether the following statements are examples of logos, ethos or pathos
01:14
A critical thinker ignores the emotion and tone in an argument
01:41
The example illustrates the use of emotion in argument
01:29
"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
01:19

In an "appeal to flattery" fallacy flattery is used in an attempt to gain support

02:08

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

02:05

Bias distorts our perspective and affects our judgment, often subconsciously without us realising it

01:58

What do these statements have in common?

02:45

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
01:33

The main purpose of evidence is either to

1)Support a claim that we are making

2)Evaluate whether a claim can be believed

Incomplete information
01:09
02:01
The primary means of collecting evidence is by asking questions
01:01

The Kipling method advocates 6 critical kinds of question, namely, what, why, when, how, where and who.

01:42

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

01:39

Socrates was a famous philosopher and educator who taught by asking questions; he defined six main types of question

01:46

A questioning strategy is about asking questions in a thoughtfuland purposeful manner to arrive at a point of decision-making in an efficient manner

01:34
There are several different types of exploratory questions
01:45
Failure to elucidate is a logical fallacy where a response is given that adds little or any additional significant information
02:37
We have a tendency to drift in the search for information due to various biases
02:02

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?
02:29
 We need to evaluate the quality of data that has been collected or provided in support of an argument
01:37

A tool for evaluating the quality of information sources - originally designed for academic use

01:55

The fallacy of anecdotal evidence is where generalisations are made on the basis of anecdotal, and often insufficient, evidence

02:27

A non-credible witness is someone we doubt

In legal terms, a credible witness is one whose testimony can be believed

02:52

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
01:57
02:47

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

01:54

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

04:53
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
02:16
Are the following statements factual or opinion?
02:05
In critical thinking we should not confuse facts with opinion
Section 7: Avoiding Cognitive Bias and Logical Fallacies!
01:04
Look at the two lines - which is longer?
02:07

Anchoring is the tendency to rely on past reference, an “anchor” when making a decision 

02:38

A logical fallacy is an error in reasoning

02:20
There are five main types of logically fallacy, 1) irrelevant appeal, 2) personal attack, 3) presumption, 4) faulty generalisations and 5) distractions
02:19

The use of a person or institution of authority, stature or repute as a premise to support a conclusion

02:30

A claim that something is true because many other people also alledgedly believe its true

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Instructor Biography

ThinkSchool !, Cognitive and collaborative skill development

Founded by two former business school Deans, ThinkSchool helps students and professionals develop their cognitive and collaborative skills within the shortest time possible.

We do this by drawing upon a diverse network of talented educators for content and using learning specialists to optimise the content into distinct learning units.

Our courses consist of short, to-the-point videos that makes it easy for learners to locate, digest and review learning concepts covered in the course. Learning has never been so efficient and fun!

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