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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.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.
Here’s why: According to Andrew Roberts, author of , but it’s unlikely to be the place you desire.
The value of critical thinking doesn’t stop with college, however.
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.
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?The “chicken and egg problem” a classic example of this.At first, it seems obvious that the chicken had to come first. But then you quickly realize that the chicken had to come from somewhere, and since chickens come from eggs, the egg must have come first. Even if it turns out that the reverse When you’re trying to solve a problem, it’s always helpful to look at other work that has been done in the same area.Ask the following questions of any evidence you encounter: Take, for example, a study showing the health benefits of a sugary cereal. That is, until you learn that a sugary cereal company funded it.You can’t automatically assume that this invalidates the study’s results, but you should certainly question them when a conflict of interests is so apparent.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.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.