Thinking Critical

This was beneficial to humans when we were hunting large game and fighting off wild animals, but it can be disastrous when we’re trying to decide who to vote for.A critical thinker is aware of their cognitive biases and personal prejudices and how they influence seemingly “objective” decisions and solutions. Becoming aware of them is what makes critical thinking possible.

It’s a tool that musician Brian Eno and artist Peter Schmidt created to aid creative problem solving.

Some of the “cards” are specific to music, but most work for any time you’re stuck on a problem.

There’s no reason to start solving a problem from scratch when someone has already laid the groundwork.

It’s important, however, to evaluate this information critically, or else you can easily reach the wrong conclusion.

it’s quite easy to make an ass of yourself simply by failing to question your basic assumptions.

Some of the greatest innovators in human history were those who simply looked up for a moment and wondered if one of everyone’s general assumptions was wrong. That attractive person in your World Civilizations class you’ve wanted to talk to?Despite hearing so much about critical thinking all these years, I realized that I still couldn’t give a concrete definition of it, and I certainly couldn’t explain how to do it.It seemed like something that my teachers just expected us to pick up in the course of our studies.Human thought is amazing, but the speed and automation with which it happens can be a disadvantage when we’re trying to think critically.Our brains naturally use heuristics (mental shortcuts) to explain what’s happening around us.Don’t get so bogged down in research and reading that you forget to think for yourself–sometimes this can be your most powerful tool.Writing about Einstein’s paper “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” (the paper that contained the famous equation ), C. Snow observed that “it was as if Einstein ‘had reached the conclusions by pure thought, unaided, without listening to the opinions of others. What they will expect, though, is for you to be able to think; to know how to make connections between ideas and evaluate information critically.And now that I’m in college, my professors often mention that the ability to think through and solve difficult problems matters more in the “real world” than specific content.To avoid this, continually go back to the basic questions you asked when you set out to solve the problem.Here are a few key basic question you can ask when approaching any problem: The above saying holds true when you’re thinking through a problem.


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