Principles of Critical Thinking
- Gather complete information
- Understand and define all the terms
- Find any hidden assumptions and biases
- Separate opinions from facts
- Look at the big picture
Biases in our thinking!
Bandwagon effect:The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same:“Everyone in my class thinks London is the best city in the UK… and I do to.” Outcome bias: Judging a decision by the eventual result rather than how good the decision actually was in the first place. “I’m so glad our team won the match! Looks like the Manager’s decision to play the injured defender was alright in the end.”
Compared with…“It’s all the manager’s fault… He played that injured defender and that’s why we lost.”
Reactance: Wanting to do the opposite of what someone asks you to do as a way of showing your freedom of choice.“My Parents insisted that I go to bed at 10pm but I want to stay up later (even though I’m actually a bit tired by then).” Conservatism bias: Sticking to old ideas even when new evidence has come to light.1600’s Galileo Galilei– The sun is at the centre of the solar system!
The clergy – No its not! We’ve known for centuries that the Earth is at the centre… send him to prison!
Ostrich effect: Deciding to ignore dangerous or negative information by “burying” ones head in the sand.“I know they have the warning labels about smoking on the packets but I prefer not to look at them.”