Assignment: Critical Thinking

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Assignment: Critical Thinking

Assignment: Critical Thinking

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Search for and read competing views, as well as perspectives with which you find yourself readily agreeing. Be sure to base your final understanding on an accurate study of both sides of an argument, as well as on recognition of your own personal biases.

For this assignment, review the article provided, “Sadder and Less Accurate? False Memory for Negative Material in Depression.” (ATTACHED)

Then, use Internet resources to find and select one professional journal article that presents an opposing view on this topic.

The assignment: (34 pages)

· Explain how the professional journal article you selected defends its opposing view from the original article.

· For each article, explain any biases, slants in opinions, and any other errors in logic that are present. Be specific and provide examples from the literature.

· Explain how, if at all, reading the opposing article changed your views on the topic presented in the original article.

· Explain the importance of applying critical thinking to the reading of psychological research and professional literature.

Joormann, J., Teachman, B. A., & Gotlib, I. H. (2009). Sadder and less accurate? False memory for negative material in depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118(2), 412–417.

The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defined critical thinking in 1987.
Michael Scriven and Richard Paul made statement at the 8th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking and Education Reform in the summer of 1987.
As guide to belief and behavior, critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of deliberately and skillfully conceiving, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating knowledge obtained through, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication. 
It is founded on universal intellectual qualities that transcend subject matter divisions, such as clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good arguments, depth, breadth, and fairness, in its exemplary form.


It entails looking at the structures or elements of thought that are implicit in all reasoning, such as the purpose, problem, or question at hand; assumptions; concepts; empirical grounding; reasoning leading to conclusions; implications and consequences; objections from alternative viewpoints; and frame of reference. 
Critical thinking is one of family of interconnected modes of thinking that includes scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking.


Critical thinking is made up of two parts: 1) set of skills for producing and processing information and beliefs, and 2) the habit of utilizing those skills to guide action, which is founded on intellectual commitment. 
It is thus to be contrasted with: 1) the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, because it entails specific way of seeking and treating information; 2) the mere possession of set of skills, because it entails their continuous use; and 3) the mere use of those skills (“as an exercise”) without acceptance of their outcomes.


Critical thinking differs depending on the motivation that drives it. 
When motivated by self-interest, it frequently manifests itself in the deft manipulation of ideas in the service of one’s or one’s group’s vested interests. 
As result, as pragmatically successful it may be, it is usually intellectually wrong. 
It is often of higher intellectual order when anchored in fairmindedness and intellectual honesty, however it is prone to the charge of “idealism” by those accustomed to its selfish application.


Critical thinking of any kind is never universal in any individual; everyone has periods of undisciplined or irrational thinking from time to time. 
Its quality is thus often matter of degree, based on factors such as the quality and depth of expertise in particular subject of thought or with relation to specific set of questions. 
No one is complete critical thinker; instead, they are critical thinkers to certain extent, with some insights and blind spots, and with certain self-delusion tendencies. 
As result, cultivating critical thinking abilities and attitudes is lifelong endeavor.


Another definition of critical thinking in nutshell
Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined reasoning that aims for the maximum level of quality while remaining objective. 
People who think critically want to live in sensible, reasonable, and sympathetic manner. 
They are well aware of how human reasoning is essentially erroneous when left unchecked. 
They try to make their egocentric and sociocentric impulses less powerful. 
They employ critical thinking’s intellectual tools – concepts and principles that allow them to analyze, evaluate, and improve their thinking. 
Intellectual honesty, intellectual humility, intellectual politeness, intellectual empathy, intellectual sense of justice, and trust in reason are among the intellectual traits they strive to cultivate. 
They understand that no matter how good thinker they are, they can always improve their reasoning skills, and that they will occasionally succumb to logical errors, human irrationality, prejudices, biases, distortions, uncritically accepted social rules and taboos, self-interest, and vested interest. 
They work to make the world better place in whatever way they can and to contribute to more reasonable and civilized society. 
At the same time, they are aware of the difficulties that this often entails. 
They try to think about hard situations in way that isn’t simplistic, and they make an effort to consider the rights and wants of those who are relevant. 
They realize the difficulties of growing as thinkers and commit to lifetime of self-improvement effort. 
They represent the Socratic notion that “the unexamined life is not worth living,” because they see that many uncritical, unjust, and hazardous lives add up to an uncritical, unjust, and dangerous world.


September 2007 (Linda Elder)
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