The Value of Critical Thinking

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In five years, I really do believe there will many things I take with me from Psych. Even now, I find myself explaining things in psychological terms or thinking about concepts more scientifically. I evaluate how to minimize perceived stress in my life, contemplate neurotransmission, and wonder about the validity of my own dream analyses. However, in all the things I've learned, I believe I will never forget about the strategies we learned about for determining the legitimacy of a claim. Basically, I don't feel as though I'll fall prey to pseudoscience ever again, though I know it's not as easy as that.
Whenever I see any products that promise quickly growing or thicker hair, I have learned to ignore that pulse of hope that makes me want to drop obnoxious amounts of cash on it just because some lady reported success. As tempting as it is to believe anecdotes and believe that the correlations they draw mean causation, you're probably only getting fooled. I also know to look for connectivity to other research, peer review, self-correction and talk of "evidence" instead of proof. The more that psychobabble is used in place of actual scientific the explanation, the more the product its advertising is likely to be a sham. I feel as though I've really discovered the importance of critical thinking during this class.

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3 Comments

This is a topic that I think about all the time and I also believe I would remember this topic later in my life. For this semester I have noticed various commercials making claims to miracle cures. This type of critical thinking is a weapon we can and should use against the daily bombardment of advertisements. But even with this mindset, I often find myself being swayed by personal testimonials for a product.

I liked your post because I definitely think anyone who read this book and took this class can agree that they have began to look at things in life in a different perspective. I have learned a lot of different facts and theories but I agree that one concept I have learned and will use in my daily life is the process of critical thinking.

A more parsimonious explanation of their outrageous anecdotes could be that they're all scripted and every single one of those "successful" product users is actually a paid actor and has never even seen the product before, nor cares to see it.

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This page contains a single entry by viol0035 published on April 28, 2012 3:22 PM.

"Say Yes" to the 3 major principles? was the previous entry in this blog.

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