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Introduction to Critical Thinking

Do You Agree With This Statement?

Some people study all their life and at their death they have learned everything except to THINK Francois Domergue


Why does IU have this course?


help you improve your Thinking Skills


Introduction to Critical Thinking

1. What is Thinking? 2. Types of Thinking 3. What is Critical Thinking?

7. Characteristics of a Critical Thinker

4. Critical Thinking Standards

6. Barriers to Critical Thinking

5. Benefits of Critical Thinking

What is Thinking?
Why doesnt SHE like me? Why doesnt HE like me?

As you start asking questions and seek answers, you are in fact thinking.

Types of Thinking
Analyzing Evaluating Reasoning

Problem Solving Decision Making New Ideas

Critical Thinking



Creative Thinking

What is Critical Thinking?


What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the general term given to a wide range of cognitive skills and intellectual dispositions needed: to effectively identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and truth claims, to discover and overcome personal prejudices and biases, to formulate and present convincing reasons in support of conclusions; and to make reasonable, intelligent decisions about what to believe and what to do. (textbook: page 1)

Cognitive, intellectual : thuc v nhn thc, tr c. Prejudice: nh kin an unfair and

unreasonable opinion or feeling, especially when formed without enough thought or knowledge. Bias: thnh kin often supporting or opposing a particular person or thing in an unfair way by allowing personal opinions to influence your judgment

What is Critical Thinking?

Analyzing Evaluating Reasoning

Problem Solving Decision Making

Dont need to memorize definitions! Just understand and practice the core critical thinking skills emphasized in this course.

Critical Thinking



What is Critical Thinking ?





Decision Making

Problem Solving

What does not thinking critically look like ?

Blindly reproducing old learned reactions Blindly accepting face value all justifications of organizations & political leaders Blindly believe TV commercials Blindly trust political commercials Blindly accept and say that if the textbook says it, it must be so Blindly accept and say that if the organization does it, it must be right

What does Critical Thinking Look Like?

Contextual sensitivity - being sensitive to stereotypes about people of particular group & accept others at face value unconditionally Perspective thinking - trying to get into other person's head, or walk in others shoes to see the world way that person sees it Tolerance for ambiguity - ability to accept multiple interpretations of same situation

Comparing Blooms Taxonomy to Critical Thinking

Blooms taxonomy of the cognitive domain: Knowledge Comprehension

Analysis Synthesis

Bloom, B., Englehart, M., Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive Domain. New York: Longmans Green.

Comparing Blooms Taxonomy to Critical Thinking

Creative Thinking Synthesis Critical Thinking Evaluation

Application Comprehension Knowledge

Critical Thinking Standards (CTS)

The most significant critical (intellectual) thinking standards:

Clarity Accuracy Precision Relevance Depth Breadth Logic Fairness

CTS - Clarity

Could you elaborate further on that point? Could you express that point in another way? Could you give me an illustration? Could you give me an example?

Clarity is the gateway standard


Clarity is a gateway standard, If a statement is unclear, we cannot determine whether it is accurate or relevant. In fact we cannot tell anything about it because we do not yet know what it is saying. Exploratory questions related to the Clarity Standard: Is my thinking clear? Do I need to elaborate my thinking more? Do I need to provide an illustration of what I mean? Do I need to give an example from everyday life?

CTS Accuracy

Is that really true? How could we check that? How could we find out if that is true?

This chicken weighs over 300 pounds.

A statement can be clear but not accurate


- A statement can be clear, but not accurate as in, Most cats are over 100lbs in weight. Questions related to evaluating the accuracy of thinking include:
Is my thinking accurate? How could I check to see if this is true? How could I find out if this is correct? How can I verify for accuracy?

CTS Precision

Could you give more details? Could you be more specific?

Yao Ming is TALL!

A statement can be both clear and accurate, but not precise


Precision - A statement can be both clear and accurate, but not precise as in, John is overweight. Is he 1lb or 500lbs over weight? Questions useful in assessing precision:
Is my thinking as precise as it needs to be? Do I need to be more specific? Do I need to give more detail? Do I need to be more exact?

CTS Relevance

How is that connected to the question? How does that bear on the issue?
I studied hard all semester, therefore I should get A+.

A statement can be clear, accurate, and precise, but not relevant to the question at issue.


A statement can be clear, accurate, and precise, but not be relevant to the issue. Questioning the relevance: Is my thinking relevant to the issue? How does that relate to the question at hand? How does this information bear upon the problem I am concerned with? How does this information help me deal effectively with the issue?

CTS Depth

How does your answer address the complexities in the question? How are you taking into account the problems in the question? Is that dealing with the most significant factors?

A statement can be clear, accurate, precise, and relevant, but superficial.


A statement can be clear, accurate, precise, and relevant, yet superficial. Questions useful for evaluating depth of our critical thinking:
What factors make up this difficult problem? What are the complexities of this issue? What are the difficulties I need to deal with? Is my thinking taking into account the different perspectives I need to consider?

CTS Breadth

Do we need to consider another point of view? Is there another way to look at this question? What would this look like from a conservative standpoint? What would this look like from the point of view of...? You got 0 marks for
Headache! !! Participation, because you didnt participate in the class discussion at all.

A line of reasoning may be clear, accurate, precise, relevant, and deep, but lack breadth.


The ability to recognize all sides of an issue. Questions useful for examining breadth:
Am I looking at this issue in a narrow minded way? Do I need to look at this from another perspective? Do I need to consider another point of view? Do I need to look at this situation in other ways?


When we think, we bring a variety of thoughts together in some order. When the combination of thoughts is mutually supporting and makes sense in combination, the thinking is logical. The logic of our critical thinking can be measured by the following questions: Does my thinking make sense as a whole? Does my conclusion follow from evidence, or is there a more logical conclusion? Is my thinking focused on what is most significant?

CTS Logic

Does this really make sense? Does that follow from what you said? How does that follow? But before you implied this and now you are saying that; how can both be true?

Superman sees through anything. Superman sees through walls. Superman sees through You.
When the combination of thoughts are mutually supporting and make sense in combination, the thinking is "logical.

CTS Fairness
Critical thinking demands that our thinking be fair. Open-minded Impartial Free of distorting biases and preconceptions

Fair-mindedness is an essential attribute of a Critical Thinker.


A person holds inconsistent beliefs, at least one of those beliefs must be false. 2 kinds of inconsistency: - Logical inconsistency: involves saying or believing inconsistent things (i.e. things that cannot both or all be true) about a particular matter. - Practical inconsistency: saying one thing and doing another

Good Thinking is
CLEAR.....rather than........UNCLEAR


FAIR.rather than....BIASED

Benefits of Critical Thinking


Academic Performance understand the arguments and beliefs of others Critically evaluating those arguments and beliefs Develop and defend one's own well-supported arguments and beliefs. Workplace Helps us to reflect and get a deeper understanding of our own and others decisions Encourage open-mindedness to change Aid us in being more analytical in solving problems

Benefits of Critical Thinking

Daily life Helps us to avoid making foolish personal decisions. Promotes an informed and concerned citizenry capable of making good decisions on important social, political and economic issues. Aids in the development of autonomous thinkers capable of examining their assumptions, dogmas, and prejudices.

Barriers to Critical Thinking

If Critical Thinking is so important, why is it that uncritical thinking is so common?

Why is that so many people including many highly educated and intelligent people find critical thinking so difficult?

Barriers to critical thinking

Lack of relevant background information Poor reading skills Bias Prejudice Superstition Peer pressure Face-saving Resistance to change Selective perception Rationalization Scapegoating

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Five Powerful Barriers to Critical Thinking:
Egocentrism Sociocentrism
Unwarranted Assumptions
Self-centered thinking self-interested thinking self-serving bias Group-centered thinking Group bias Conformism Beliefs that are presumed to be true without adequate evidence or justification Assumption Stereotyping Believing that something is true because one wishes it were true. The truth is just a matter of opinion Relativism Subjectivism Cultural relativism

Wishful Thinking Relativistic Thinking

Barriers to Critical Thinking

EGOCENTRISM the tendency to view ones own interests, ideas and values as superior to everyones else

SELF-INTERESTED THINKING tendency to accept and defend beliefs that harmonize ones own self-interest

SELF-SERVING BIAS tendency to overrate oneself

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Sociocentrism: group-centred thinking

Group bias the tendency to see ones own group as being inherently better than others Herd instinct (conformism) the tendency to follow the crowd

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Unwarranted Assumptions & Stereotyping

Assumption something taken for granted, something we believe to be true without any proof or conclusive evidence Unwarranted assumption something taken for granted without good reason Stereotyping making a hasty generalization

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Wishful thinking

Believing something not because you had good evidence for it but simply because you wished it were true. Believing something because it makes one feel good, not because there is good rational grounds for thinking it is true.

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Relativistic thinking Relativism is the view that truth is a matter of opinion. There are two popular forms of relativism: subjectivism and cultural relativism. Subjectivism is the view that truth is a matter of individual opinion. Cultural relativism is the view that truth is a matter of social or cultural opinion. The most common form of relativism is moral relativism.

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Relativistic thinking - moral relativism. Moral subjectivism is the view that what is morally right and good for an individual, A, is whatever A believes is morally right and good. Cultural moral relativism is the view that what is morally right and good for an individual, A, is whatever As society or culture believes is morally right and good.

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Several serious problems with cultural moral relativism 1. Relativism makes it impossible for us to criticize other cultures customs and values, even those that intuitively seem to us to be terribly wrong. 2. Relativism makes it impossible for us to criticize our own societies customs and values. 3. Relativism rules out the idea of moral progress.

Barriers to Critical Thinking

Several serious problems with cultural moral relativism 4. Relativism can lead to conflicting moral duties: - When a relativist is a member of society that holds belief that conflict with moral relativism (case 2 and 3) - When a relativist belongs to two or more cultures and those cultures hold mutually inconsistent moral belief (case 3).

Mini Quiz Question 1

In a 1989 international study of 13-year-olds, Koreans
finished first in mathematics and Americans finished last. Yet when asked whether they thought they were "good at mathematics," only 23 percent of Koreans said "yes," compared to 68 percent of Americans.
Which critical thinking barrier do the American students exhibit: A) B) C) D) Self-interested thinking Group bias Self-serving bias Conformism

Mini Quiz Question 2

An: My friend Diep is a 1st year student at IU. He is cool, loves hanging out, and has a very laid-back personality. Lan: I bet hes from the south of Vietnam.

Which critical thinking barrier does Lan exhibit? A) Self-interested thinking B) Stereotyping C) Group bias D) Conformism

Mini Quiz Question 3

Suzie: I can't believe I got a B- on this marketing paper. My friend Sarah turned in this same paper in a different marketing class last semester, and she got an A. Ali : Don't you realize it's wrong to plagiarize someone else's work?

Suzie: That's your opinion. What's wrong for one person isn't necessarily wrong for another, and I say there's nothing wrong with plagiarismas long as you don't get caught.

Which critical thinking barrier does Suzie exhibit? A) Stereotyping B) Self-interested thinking C) Wishful thinking D) Relativistic thinking

Why standards of critical thinking are important to overcome the barriers of critical thinking?

Characteristics of a Critical Thinker

Are you OPEN MINDED about other peoples view?

Are you HONEST to yourself (or others) when you are

wrong? Do you have the COURAGE and PASSION to take initiative and confront problems and meet challenges?

Are you AWARE of your own biases and preconceptions?

Do you WELCOME CRITICISM from other people? Do you have INDEPENDENT opinions and are not afraid to disagree?

http://www.criticalthinking.org http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNCOO UK-bMQ http://www.criticalthinking.org/CTmodel/CT Model1.cfm

http://www.teachertube.com/v.php?viewkey= 8caaadb505ab52c68278