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The ABCs of Critical Thinking part deux

As the title describes this is part two of a mini-series concerning critical thinking. The first piece of the 3-component theory involves the emotional base or the affective component. This is the piece which provides the second deterrent to critical thinking. After affective we have behavioral.

The behavioral component considers the possible route of actions, which must be considered to create a sound decision based on critical thinking. This step assumes that you have delayed your judgment until there is sufficient evidence to establish a reliable decision.

When considering some actions to take most of them are based on evidence gathering, the first being the use of experimental data. Immediately, we are not expected to construct a sound experiment but based on research we conduct we can usually find the most correct answer or the best possible decision. This research also encompasses the ability to discern fact from opinion, which rationally makes sense in terms of decision-making.

On the other side of the coin we have the conscious and subconscious reactions we have to new or refuting information. The ability to monitor and possibly quell these reactions is crucial to decision-making. Some of the activity that we need to promote before passing judgment is often over looked.

The ability to listen actively to refuting arguments goes hand in hand with the encouragement of critical dialog. Consider our daily conversations, how many are devoted to the search of right or wrong. How many revolve around “small talk.” When conversing consider employing some tactics which engage the other party in a critical dialog, you’ll be a more interesting conversationalist for it.

Post decision, we should require that we modify our beliefs constantly to remain up to date as well as make decisions based on the most recent findings. Based on the first 2 components of the theory we have learned that there are many moving parts to critical thinking. It’s not as easy as some people make it look.

In case you missed the first part, click here.

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