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Video: Four Whales Of Critical Thinking - Self-development
Everyone has critical thinking. But many are simply lazy to use it. It also takes time and mental effort. Does it make sense to fight this? Well, at least on your personal level? It's up to you to decide.
At the crossroads
It was much easier for some ancient Greeks: they did not have an information overload surrounding you and me. In conditions when streams of new data pour from all sides, it is simply unthinkable to think over their entire volume. Which, alas, is shamelessly used by those who need to "sell" information to us. First of all - journalists and politicians.
If you are satisfied with the fact that your psyche is used as a "cistern", and you personally as assistants in achieving your goals (although, of course, they tell you that they are yours), then you don't need to do anything. But if you still want to independently and sensibly evaluate what is happening around, then you have to suffer.
Interpreted, interpreted …
Historically, critical thinking most often manifests itself in our perception and consideration of information coming from outside. It can be just a statement of facts (for example, we are told how long it takes). And it can also direct us in one direction or another.
In the second case, any thesis (from a household “it is better to fertilize a plant not with chemistry, but with manure” to an acutely social “all to a rally against …”) is substantiated through the interpretation of the fact (of what really happened). Critical thinking is switched on (more precisely, it should be switched on, although in fact it is often not switched on, alas) “in the transition” from a fact to its interpretation. It allows you to assess how this or that interpretation corresponds to the proposed fact. Most often, there are several facts, and interpretations, respectively, too.
The area of artificially implanted and not subjected to critical analysis of information can be any. However, most often this is something that affects a person strongly, but in which he (as a rule) is not very well versed - politics, social sphere, housing and communal services, history. The most fertile topics for "hanging noodles" are topics in which everyone thinks they are specialists: football, raising children and Russia's relations with other countries.
It would be very useful for some characters from our close or distant environment that critical thinking should never be turned on in us (so that we “do not reflect, but spread” the necessary ideas).
Critical thinking has four very simple ingredients. Simple in essence - but very complex and time consuming for constant use. Although - only for the first time; if you accustom yourself to work through any important information critically, you yourself will not notice how automatically (and very quickly) you will look at the world through “critical points”.
These four parts (not in importance, because they are all roughly equivalent):
- 1. Analysis of the source of information.
- 2. Checking the content for consistency.
- 3. Consideration of the positive consequences of the fact that the information is true.
- 4. Taking into account the negative consequences of the fact that the information is true.
Let's take a closer look at them.
Why is the source important for correct understanding?
There are two reasons. First, the source may be directly interested in promoting only a particular interpretation. If such a connection is noticeable, then the “fact-interpretation” connection should be considered more carefully. And secondly, the source can be such that it simply cannot have true information.
Checking the content is useful because it may not be so explicit.
And taking into account the more and more spreading - in conditions of information overload - the habit of people reading only news headlines or not listening to what they say to the end …
Impact analysis is also needed.
It may well be that even information from the category of horror-horror has no effect either on you personally or on the world. Do you remember the terrible scandal with the "deployment of the NATO base in Ulyanovsk"? Someone noticed any consequences? (We do not take the residents of Ulyanovsk, who got a job on this "base" - in fact, a platform for refueling planes flying to Afghanistan.) Here I am about the same …
It is clear that the ideal is approximately equal distribution of the critical attitude to information across all four indicated groups (source, content, positive, negative). We must strive for it. Forcing yourself to pay attention to previously ignored.
For example, if you notice that you are the most reverent about the analysis of the source, but you do not think much about the positive consequences, force yourself every time you hear something new to think: what can be good if this is true? Etc.