Archive for Skeptical Inquiry

On Critical Thinking

Posted in divisiveness, Doh!, paranoia with tags , on November 10, 2011 by Qritiq


excerpted notes from Critical Thinking Errors:

Errors that lead to shallow or uncritical decisions instead of careful judgments:

Face Saving/Ego
Faulty common sense
Hasty conclusions
Unwarranted assumptions


Group pressure can be intense.

Conformity can cripple your thinking…

It can cause dependence on others.
It can reduce your sense of responsibility.

GROUP THINK is probably the most severe example of conformity. It is the strong desire to concur in a group decision.

Face Saving/Ego

Face saving is “attempting to preserve our image when reality threatens it”.

Face saving is self-protection, ego protection, and sometimes compensation for feelings of inferiority.

EGO is an obstacle to clear thinking.  For instance:
Wishful thinking
Misinterpretation of perceptions


Rationalization is the exact opposite of reaching a logical decision.


The process for reaching a rational decision is to start with evidence and then move to a conclusion.

Evidence –> Conclusion

With rationalization you start with the conclusion you want, and then you gather evidence to support that conclusion.

Conclusion –> Evidence

Stereotyping  –

Stereotyping forces us to choose sides.

Causes Injustice
Destroys cooperation
Embarrasses people
Triggers fear
Creates suspicion and blame
Victims are degraded
Stereotypers lose touch with reality and their fears grow
Social impulse is curbed

To avoid stereotyping:

Avoid jumping to the conclusion of neat categories.

Review ALL information before coming to a conclusion.

Suspend judgment; put off making conclusions

A hasty conclusion is a judgment arrived at before sufficient evidence is obtained or looked at.

Unwarranted assumptions are unexamined conclusions which we take for granted.

Other Potential Problems:

Scare tactics
Appeal to loyalty
Appeal to pity
Appeal to prejudice
Shifting the burden of proof


POSTED BY  qritiq