I've always been a bit skeptical when I see stories in the media about studies and new findings in science.
I think that it's important to really evaluate a claim before you believe or accept the findings, and through the principles of critical thinking have really played a role in my ability to evaluate those reports featured in the news.
I've realized that once I see something on the nightly news, like a claim that ice cream sales increase robberies, for example, I start to think of other reasons to justify the claim. Ruling out rival hypotheses. What else could attribute to this? Or when I see other stories, I think...hmm, Correlation vs. Causation? Or do the findings back this extraordinary claim? Has this study been falsified? Has it been replicated with similar results? Is this the simplest explanation given to us?
I react with some critical thinking principle when hearing claims like those because we really shouldn't believe everything we hear. I think that many people believe things and go along with ideas just because it's presented to us through some "authority" like the news. They don't think it over, they're not skeptical enough.
There are many debates going on that could be resolved by doing a little critical thinking...like the issue of arsenic in apple juice. Many scientists don't believe this claim, as I've read. Or how vaccines can cause autism. What are some other reasons this could happen? Think about it. The principles of critical thinking can be applied to many situations.
We shouldn't just follow blindly and believe information presented to us. A little thinking goes a long way.