Becoming a Critical Thinker

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-02-14
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
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Success depends on the ability to think critically. Training and practice turn this ability into a powerful skill. Becoming a Critical Thinker gives students the opportunity to develop this skill in a classroom environment while stressing its application to daily life. Students learn to solve everyday problems, maintain successful relationships, make career choices, and interpret the messages of advertising in a variety of media. Exercises throughout the text encourage them to practice what they read and to apply it to their own lives. Becoming a Critical Thinker breaks up critical thinking into a series of cumulative activities, a unique approach that has made this text a staple of many critical thinking courses.

Table of Contents

To the Instructor
Fundamentals of Thinking
What is intelligence?
What is thinking?
good thinking! The Story of Albert Einstein
Key principles of thinking
Truth is discovered, not created
Ideas are interrelated
A statement canĂt be both true and false at the same time and in the same way
good thinking! The Story of Nellie Bly
All people make mistakes, even experts
Ideas can be examined without being embraced
Feeling is no substitute for thinking
Key habits and skills of thinking
The habit of curiosity
good thinking! The Story of Paul Vitz
Skill in distinguishing facts from opinions
The habit of checking facts and testing opinions
THE W.I.S.E. Approach to Thinking
Introducing the W.I.S.E
good thinking! The Story of Frank and Lillian Gilbreth
Step 1: Wonder
Step 2: Investigate
good thinking! The Story of Elizabeth Loftus
Step 3: Speculate
Step 4: Evaluate
Examples of Problem Solving
The uncooperative page markers
The librarianĂs lament
Examples of Issue Resolution
Is venting anger healthy?
What causes Yellow Fever?
An Important Relationship
A Caution About Bias
Bias toward what confirms your personal view
Bias toward familiar ideas
Bias toward your likes and against your dislikes
Improving your Investigative Skills
Conducting library research
good thinking! The Richard Feynman Story
Conducting Internet research
Use a search engine
good thinking! The Story of Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Develop a resource list
Ask questions about the websites you visit
Conducting an interview
Avoiding plagiarism
Three steps to avoid plagiarism
How to correctly quote and paraphrase
Becoming an Individual
What is individuality? Acknowledging influences
good thinking! The Story of Viktor Frankl
Understanding attitudes
Four empowering attitudes
Attitude 1: ThereĂs always room for improvement
Attitude 2: Criticism, including self-criticism, has value
Attitude 3: Effort is the key to success
Attitude 4: Other people are as important as I am
Recognizing manipulation
Biased reporting
Dishonest appeals to emotion
Stacking the deck
Suppressing dissent
Resisting manipulation
Step 1: Be prepared
Step 2: Ask questions
Step 3: Be imaginative
Step 4: Check sources
Strategies for individuality
Strive for humility
Be wary of first impressions
good thinking! The Story of Stephanie Kwolek
Be honest with yourself
Fight confusion
Produce many ideas
Acknowledge complexity
Look for connections among subjects
Consider other viewpoints
good thinking! The Story of Stanton Samenow
Dare to change your mind
Base your judgments on evidence
Recognizing Errors In Thinking
Four kinds of errors
Errors of perception
˘Mine is better÷ thinking
Selective perception
Gullibility and skepticism
good thinking! The Story of Sylvia Earle
Pretending to know
Either/or thinking
False tolerance
Errors of judgment
Double standard
Irrelevant criterion
Overgeneralizing or stereotyping
good thinking! The Story of Martin Seligman
Hasty conclusion
Unwarranted assumption
Failure to make a distinction
Errors of expression
Contradicting oneself
Arguing in a circle
False analogy
Irrational appeal
Errors of reaction
Explaining away
Shifting the burden of proof
Attacking the person
Straw man
Errors can multiply
Persuading Others
What is persuasion? Opportunities in the classroom
Opportunities in the workplace
good thinking! The Story Of Dorothea Dix
Opportunities in the community
Opportunities in relationships
How is persuasion achieved? Respect your audience
Understand your audienceĂs viewpoint(s)
Begin on a point of agreement
Acknowledge unpleasant facts and make appropriate concessions
good thinking! The Story Of Dale Carnegie
Apply the Golden Rule
Keep your expectations modest
Strategy for persuasive writing
Step 1: State what you think about the issue and why you think it
Step 2: Consider how those who disagree might react to your view
Step 3: Arrange your ideas and write a draft of your presentation
Step 4: Check your draft for matters of style
Step 5: Check your draft for grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling
good thinking! The Story Of George Orwell
An example of persuasive writing
Strategy for persuasive speaking
Create note cards
Rehearse using a tape recorder or a camcorder
Strategy for group discussion
Applying your Thinking Skills
Thinking critically about relationships
good thinking! The Story Of Oprah Winfrey
Guidelines for successful relationships
Thinking critically about careers
A sensible approach
Thinking critically about ethical judgments
A better basis for judgment
good thinking! The Story Of Chiara Lubich
Criteria for ethical judgment
Applying the criteria
A sample case
Thinking critically about commercials
Glittering generality
Empty comparison
Meaningless slogan
Stacking the deck
Misleading statement
Thinking critically about print advertising
Thinking critically about television programming
Thinking critically about movies
Thinking critically about music
Thinking critically about magazines
Thinking critically about newspapers
Epilogue: Make the end a beginning
Works Cited
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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