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What's the best way to learn Critical Thinking?

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posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:36 AM
I keep hearing stuff about how in school they don't teach critical thinking, but only teach people to memorize a preset bunch of information and answers. So how does one learn critical thinking? Youtube videos? Like where do you even start?

I'm curious because I noticed something rather usual within both others I've seen and myself. Like I seen this documentary about workers in china. The one guy had an injured foot. So to get around he would scoot around on his bum. He had one good leg but could not afford crutches. So I imediately thought "This guy must be stupid, like he's scooting around on his bum, but has 1 good leg." Like why not ask someone for help, and or if no one will help you then just look around for some disgarded wood or poles and make a few crutches". That's what I would have done. But the poor guy was just an uneducated homeless migrant worker and probably was pretty slow. I know a few people like that actually. Some of the solutions they've come up with for stuff I find just hilarious, but they're actually doing the best they can. It's just really sad.

But yet even myself I know I certainly don't have a lot of answers. Like recently I had to hire a lawyer. My decision process went toward the idea of "I need to hire the best lawyer". Boy was that ever stupid looking back. I used so much money on that, and I'm not even sure if it was worth the money. I guess I'll find out soon though. But still I know now I could have gone with a much cheaper lawyer and probably got just as good a result, if I would have just done some research and asked the right questions. But what that got me thinking was that even my own critial thinking is not very rational at all at times. But who knows.

I know there's a lot of smart people on here so I figured we'll see what you guys have to say about the subject? ha ha

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:43 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

Oh Spar.......most critical think tanks are sociopaths.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:45 AM
Begin by not believing your own hype.


posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:51 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

okay, i watched the video but still can't do calculus...

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:01 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

Hi ..When I jumped on the web a few years ago I came across this site I had dropped out of school back in the 60's and went to work . You could do that back then as opposed to being lucky to get a job today ,even with a education . Any how ,at that site they take you through ,whats known as a classical way of educating your self .They have interviews with lots of people including John Taylor Gatto . Hope that might help ..peace edit to add this
edit on 8-10-2013 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:04 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

I think the first step in critical thinking is letting go of bias, feelings and emotions. Those things will affect the judgements you make and the conclusions you draw from information you absorb. We have limited time in our life and were put in many situations everyday where were forced to make decisions with little time to apply critical thinking. Your example with the attorney situation. You may have been able to save money. Did you really have the time? Were you comfortable with the decision you made at the time? Looking back you can analyze the situation because you are removed from it. Just like the lives and stories of other people. It seems plausible to reflect on things and build critical thinking skills and it works well in an academic environment.
The split second decisions were bombarded with daily, or decisions that require more time than we actually have to give to them to achieve the best outcome, critical thinking skill applied to these situations might just be inheritant to the intelligence level of the individual person.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:06 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

I'm not sure if I fit the bill
but I'd say: have a strong desire to learn> do a lot of research on what is of interest, learn the inner/outer workings of a given subject/object and try to improve on it by finding weakness or areas of improvement. I think one would eventually learn to think "outside the box" by starting with the smaller, more simple things and work their way to the more complicated.

I like to think of myself as somewhat of a critical thinker in progress. Then again, I think a critical thinker is probably always a work in progress.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:20 AM

reply to post by spartacus699

Oh Spar.......most critical think tanks are sociopaths.

Maybe, but still like I've learned the hard way so many frackin times it's insane! I seriously want to try and avoid that a bit more now. I want to try and think things through. I'm tired of learning the hard way in life. Like if we just used some common sense you'd think we'd learn how to figure things out. But I guess somtimes that's the only way to learn. But still just good decisions I think can save you in the end.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 04:22 AM
reply to post by kx12x

Will there ever be a cure for a thinker?

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 05:11 AM
reply to post by SarnholeOntarable

A cure? Maybe a few good beers and a tropical beach. That's what I'd say, anyway.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 05:20 AM
What a great question, Spartacus. I can see the wheels turning from way up north. S&F

Critical thinking is the reason I felt inferior at one point to the person on TV conducting an interview. She was asking questions that had not occurred to me, but should have. So I began to take courses and returned to studies to increase my competence. It did loads for that and got rid of the feeling of inferiority.

Critical thinking for me is a process. For instance, instead of jumping right into an answer to something with a positive or negative reply based on emotion or prejudice, or claiming a rock on mars is an animal haha, the process of thinking it right through comes into play before replying. This process can save a person a lot of embarrassment.

As for the process itself, the model I use has 5 steps as follows and can be applied to anything:

1. Data collection: list the facts: (You needed a lawyer.)

2. Analysis of facts: considering the pros and cons and relation between the facts, the foreseen possible consequences (For whatever reasons you would hire the best)

3. Planning: What to do about it/ goals, strategies /criteria for your choice (Searching for lawyer , criteria for choosing a lawyer)

4. Intervention: Actions to be taken, including timeline: (You consulted with and hired a lawyer)

5. Evaluation: The Outcome & Considerations for future use (Did the best lawyer = most expensive /or most competent in that particular type of case?)

From your post, it would appear that you are evaluating your choice of lawyer and whether your criteria for hiring him or her were adequate and well thought through.

Hope this helps.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 06:01 AM
this video lays it out quite nicely

Good luck!

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 07:37 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

The Baloney Detection Kit: A 10-Point Checklist for Science Literacy

How reliable is the source of the claim?
Does the source make similar claims?
Have the claims been verified by somebody else?
Does this fit with the way the world works?
Has anyone tried to disprove the claim?
Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
Is the claimant playing by the rules of science?
Is the claimant providing positive evidence?
Does the new theory account for as many phenomena as the old theory?
Are personal beliefs driving the claim?

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 08:16 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

Learn to understand the various logical fallacies, and see them in what people say.

Practice questioning. Think things through a few steps.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 08:33 AM
To answer this question one simply has to follow the power, money and greed. Question everything.
Listen more than you talk. There are dangers to being a critical thinker though; one arguably becomes more skeptical, pessimistic, and potentially a little depressed.

I awoke after a few university courses, Sociology of Knowledge, Social Theory, Critical Thinking, and the Philosophy of Technology.

Understanding how the proliferation of Consumerism: conspicuous consumption, Fear, Conformity, and Media, as cultural forces, undermine free will, freedom of choice and ultimately critical thinking at the local community level.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 09:38 AM
reply to post by spartacus699

I wish I could tell you I'm a pro at critical thinking, and analysis. I'm not. I'm learning every day, just like the majority of us are. I can only share with you what I've learned thus far.

The first step to learning critical thinking, is self examination. Critical thinking is not an external process. It is an internal process. Until we question and begin to understand our own motives, beliefs, and biases, we are logically handicapped. We will find a way to make the information fit our perception, instead of the other way around.

Critical thinking in a nutshell: “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.” Thích Nhất Hạnh

This is a much deeper statement than is first understood. I have found this to be very helpful in learning to perceive without bias. Though I still have a long way to go.

Your question is good, and your goal worthwhile. Stick with it.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 02:09 PM
reply to post by Klassified

The best way to learn critical thinking is to read a history textbook from like 1950 very critically. Then read one from today and apply the same critical analysis you did while reading the one from 1950. Then apply that same thought process to all information and voila! Critical thinking for dummies.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 02:11 PM

My advice?
The first step is to shut off the television and make sure it stays off.
Better yet, toss the thing straight out the window.


posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:40 PM
Turn your television into your monitor. A computer monitor is for monitoring information. A television is for an escape from reality. I use a 60" with 26" right next to it for backup. I monitor a lot of stuff.

posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:48 PM
reply to post by spartacus699

You could probably start with a Sigma Six or ISO 9000 course/books.

Instead of actually doing a task - you mentally visualize the process. Mentally change any variable and imagine different outcomes.

The basics for the Sigma Six are almost along the lines of critical thinking.

...that or play some old school D&D.

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