General, Research, Technology

Is it possible to learn to think critically and why is it necessary?

Critical thinking presupposes opennessnew experience and information. It allows us to greatly expand our horizons. The thought processes involved in critical thinking not only shape our beliefs and actions, but also influence how we make decisions, which is especially important in the age of fake news. Scientists at Uppsala University recently developed a digital test that trains Internet users to rate news, images and videos posted on social media. The findings confirmed the researchers 'hypothesis that self-testing does improve students' ability to apply critical thinking to digital sources of information - a key component of digital literacy. It is also interesting that critical thinking guides us towards the most reasonable, ethical and sensitive choice in the appropriate situations.

A way of thinking that requires constant challenge of one's own ideals, alas, is not common to everyone. But he can be learned.

Critical Thinking - What You Need to Know?

When it comes to the ability to usethinking as a tool that allows you to solve many very different, both intellectual and not so, problems, we are talking about critical thinking. Researchers today define the ability to think critically as the ability to question the information received and one's own beliefs. This type of thinking allows you to think rationally and clearly, formulate strong arguments and look for a logical connection between facts.

The basis of critical thinking is the ability to reason. Even a person who has never heard this term uses the principles and techniques of critical thinking.

“Why is this so and not otherwise?"," Where is the evidence and how good is it? "," Is this a good argument and can it be verified? " - such questions take us beyond the limits of simple description into the field of scientific conclusions and reasoning, which allows scientists to make scientific discoveries. And although for many of them critical thinking seems to become intuitive, it must be cultivated in every possible way.

Critical thinking, contrary to popular belief, can be learned. But it is so hard.

Interestingly, the idea of ​​"teaching" critical thinking is itself an oxymoron: critical thinking can really only be learned through practice. Meanwhile, the ability to actively consider andevaluating information, identifying biases, tracing logical connections, and scrutinizing evidence will enable many people around the world to make better decisions. And while these decisions may be trivial (will this wonder anti-wrinkle cream really rejuvenate your skin?), In many cases, reasoning and decision making can make a difference, and some decisions have life-changing consequences.

You will be wondering: Why do we believe fake news?

As noted by the authors of a 2005 study,teaching critical thinking is a very difficult task, as this skill is of a higher order and requires practice. The results of 2018 work, however, state that it is still possible to learn to think critically.

How do you learn to think critically?

Experiments carried out by the Department of Physics andGraduate School of Education at Stanford University have demonstrated that students can be taught critical thinking skills. The authors of the scientific work, published in the journal PNAS, came to the conclusion that one hundred and the ability to decipher, interpret information and offer a variety of solutions directly related to intelligence.

The study involved two groupsstudents of the introductory course in physics. The first, the experimental group, had to compare the quantitative readings of the data, while the second, the control group, received no instructions at all. Interestingly, the students had to compare the data using the scientific method - they measured their observations in a mathematical or statistical way.

Critical thinking training must be done explicitly and in a targeted manner. The value of scientific education can lie not only in facts, but also in thinking.

Read even more fascinating articles on how to develop critical thinking skills on our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site.

This approach has led to quite interestingthe results in the experimental group: even when the subjects did not receive instructions, they were 12 times more likely to use a creative approach to solving problems. Moreover, students in the experimental group were 4 times more likely to use explanations and better justify decisions, in contrast to students from the control group. The results were so amazed by the scientists that a year later they repeated the experiment and the result was repeated.

Since we live in an era where access toThe majority of the population of different countries of the world has information, the lack of skill in using the information received is critical. Regardless of whether you are watching a new popular video on YouTube or turned on a program on Channel One, the ability to interpret and analyze the information received will in any case play into your hands. Scientists also note that constant exercise, such as simple fact-checking by watching videos about, for example, vaccinations, plays a huge role in teaching critical thinking.

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Another interesting study waspublished in May 2019 in Research in Higher Education, shows a potential solution to the problem of pseudoscientific beliefs, showing that intensive lessons in critical thinking can reduce them.