Critical thinking questions

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Chapter 1: How are increases in technology linked to the need forcritical thinking skills? Why is it important for critical thinkingto accompany such advances?

We live in an information age. An age where having internet accessdetermines you accessibility to information. The easy availabilityand accessibility of information through the web has shaped ourapproach to making decisions, analyzing arguments and solvingproblems (McPeck, 2016). The internet has made knowledge readilyavailable. However, the question arises on the credibility andreliability of the information. The answer lies within the confinesof critical thinking. Critical thinking refers to purposeful,reasoned and goal-directed thinking (McPeck, 2016). Thus, beforerelying on data acquired online, one needs to apply critical thinkingskills in evaluating the information. It sums up to weighingevidence, evaluation and calculating probabilities thus judgingcredibility (McPeck, 2016).

The rapid growth of technology makes it an unpredictable thus makingit a variable. Critical thinking offers a consistent approach despitethe technological change. Essentially, the demand for criticalthinking skills within personal and professional circles has risenwith technological advancement. Since there is a need for reliableinformation to make, solve, and evaluate corporate decisions,problems, and growth the market requires individuals with cognitiveskills to accomplish their objectives. McPeck (2016) recognizes twotypes of thinking, system 1, which is intuition, and system 2, whichis slow, deliberate, and effortful. Critical thinking skills alignwith system 2 and offer a way forward on dealing with the glutinformation on the internet. The vastness and unregulated nature ofthe web makes it easy for one to share false and one-sidedinformation(Dennett, 2014). It is because the internet has both thebogus and the informative content. Biased and racist websites displayfake content while the informative website displays original,authentic and creadiable content. It needs critical thinking todifferentiate between the bogus and educational content. Thisexcessive information availability necessitates the requirement forcritical thinking to pick the right and most authentic informationfrom the congregation of irrelevant data. Thus, it will enhance theknowledge base and improve the quality of work. The current age ofFacebook and social media succor multitasking giving an opportunityto people to socialize while working and studying. However, themultitasking abilities supported by the technology have degraded thequality of work. It shows that the technological advancement isresponsible for deteriorating quality of work and is affecting theircritical thinking. Critical thinking will help in applying theacquired knowledge to the available information and fetch the optimumoutput. All it takes is the right attitude, background knowledge, andthinking skills to filter information.

Chapter 4: If you need to give someone information about the distancethe planets are from the sun and each other, what rules aboutcommunicating ordered information do you need to keep in mind?

Guidelines in deductive reasoning aim at deriving valid conclusions.Thus, the guidelines for linear orderly problems necessitate for thearrangement of terms in a straight-line array. Fortunately, it ispossible to explain the solar system in a single-line format. Inillustrating the solar system, linear ordering will be useful as itenables one demonstrate the relationship in the distance between theplanets and the sun. This line of reasoning allows the illustrator tocreate a spatial imagery for the representation of the solar system.Linear ordering reasoning logic has various psychological principles.To explain the solar system using linear order reasoning, I will usecongruent terms. It is easier to solve this order by using congruentwords such as close, closer, closest. Also, making the second term inthe first premise to be the first term in the second premise easesunderstanding (McPeck, 2016). For instance, Venus is closer to thesun than Mars Mars is closer to the sun than Jupiter. Neglectingnegotiations will also make problem-solving an easier task. The useof adjectives that may indicate a bias is also unadvisable. Thesemarked adjectives may relay negative information, which hinders theprocesses of reasoning. Besides, the additional use of diagrams isnecessary for validating conclusions (McPeck, 2016). Thus,application of diagrams while using the singular array techniquereduces the demands of the working memory since they make therelationship between terms clear and visible.

However,there exist certain rules that govern the linear diagrams. Theserules help the people understand the spatial representation to inferconclusions. Given below are the rules implemented in communicating alinear representation of the sun and the planets.

  • Use congruent approach for the comparison of distance between the sun and the planets. For example, the planet having shortest distance is placed near to the sun while the planet having a shorter distance gets placed further apart and so on.

  • Compare each planet distance regarding other planet’s distance. For example, planet A is nearer to the sun compared to planet B.

  • Avoid negation terms it complicates linear representation

The rules mentioned above help in intelligently demonstrating thelinear ordering. It explains that individuals tend to understandcongruent terms better than the negative terms. They also, processcomparative explanation easily. The basic cognitive principle behindlinear communication is that negative information takes longer toprocess compared to positive news. Thus, the speaker must alwaysdeliver a positive information so that learner can process theinformation correctly (McPeck, 2016).

Chapter 5: How do you change someone’s beliefs?

The ability to change what some thinks and how he/she acts revolvesaround persuasion. As hard as it sounds, changing someone’s beliefrequires commitment and tons of credible information since thedynamics of persuasion call for deep forehand information on thesubject matter. Ideally, always provide a reliable source for theinformation you have presented. The credibility of the source buildsa foundation that ensures understanding. Consulting with experts andcritically evaluating the source makes the argument viable. Thenature of this exercise needs one to anticipate a counterargument. Byformulating a counterexample that weakens the counterargument, youvalidate your conclusion (McPeck, 2016). Be willing to listen tohis/her counterarguments this creates a rapport that makes theargument credible to both parties.

As McPeck (2016) notes, being direct with the audience eliminates thepossibility of them differing on your conclusion since the channel ofcommunication is evident. This also breeds discussion, whichencourages the audience to understand your line of reasoning.Influencing the choice of an individual involves not only thinkingbut also proper word choice. The repeating of the conclusion of anargument makes it familiar to the person (Lombardo, 2013). Thus, makethe same point in different words with the aim of drivingunderstanding rather than listening. Also, it is vital to providenumerous credible reasons to support the conclusion. It requiresusing strong argument having consistent reasons and premises tojustify the conclusion. If any of the argument misses a reason or ifit lacks a firm conclusion it is not classified as an argument. Forexample, if you wish to convince someone to stay in college untilgraduation you need to provide sound arguments to support yourconclusion. Positive arguments such as college will you get ahigh-pay job, and a better lifestyle and graduate students receivemore respect than the college dropouts. These arguments willstrengthen your premise and will give a reason to the other person tothink about it. It will help alter his belief. The number of feasiblereasons determines the strength of an argument (McPeck, 2016). Thus,formulating many reasons will help achieve the objective. However,the message should be easily comprehensible. This reduces the chancesof creating a negative attitude in the argument. The use of soundreasoning also helps build a good rapport (McPeck, 2016). The use ofvisual aids either imaginary or vivid will make it easier to makeyour point.


McPeck, J. E. (2016). Critical thinking and education.Routledge.

Lombardo, T. (2013). The psychology of the future: Flourishing in theflow of evolution. Synopsis of Forthcoming Book,

Principe,J. C., Euliano, N. R., &amp Lefebvre, W. C. (2000). Neural andadaptive systems: fundamentals through simulations (Vol. 672).New York: Wiley.

Dennett,D. (2014). Daniel Dennett. Methode-Analytic Perspectives,2(3), 46-48.