Tag Archive: critical thinking

Superheroes know the value of going into any situation prepared. That’s why the hero is constantly adding to their arsenal of weapons to fight injustice and ignorance. One of the best weapons the hero can arm him or herself with is information.

A well-informed person is hard to fool. Researching the subject, judging the information, weighing the pros and cons, and sorting out the riff-raff one of the best protections against the criminal element. A good researcher:

  • Gets information from multiple sources: Yes google is great, and wikipedia is okay for settling disagreements among friends, but when it comes to the serious issues like changing careers, learning about political issues, making a large purchase, or learning about new cultures one should look at many sources for information.
  • Scrutinizes the source: Nowadays everybody has a website, you can print business cards at home, and with a few key strokes you can start calling yourself an expert. Before accepting a source’s information as truth, look at their background and ask yourself do they have any experience, education, or special skills related to the topic they are talking about? Do they have any bias, any reason beyond facts to persuade me to take their side?  I am biased. I want you to make an informed decision. Full disclosure here!
  • Follows their heart: No one knows better than you what’s right for you. Make decisions based on your values, goals, resources, and current situation. What’s good for the goose IS NOT always good for the gander.
  • Ask a trusted source: Go to an expert (or several) or find people who have experienced first hand what you are researching. Sometimes you’ll find out things that aren’t available through formal channels.
  • Sleep on it: Take time to let the information sink in and synthesize. I have had many seemingly good ideas turn out to be bad ones after a little bit of thinking time.

Of course, too much information can be a bad thing (especially on Facebook–just saying!). So, know when to stop, otherwise you run the risk of overwhelming yourself and crippling your decision-making abilities all together (guilty as charged). Alright heroes, arm yourselves and go get some justice!


Critical Thinking

Day in and day out, we are pummeled with jargon, sales speak, scams, spam, false advertising, political double talk, and more mis-information. This false information is dangerous. It creates an environment where injustice can be justified, where people can be taken advantage of, where poor quality can break through, where false experts gain credibility, and where poor decisions can be made. The superhero’s job is to fight against such ignorance.

The weapon of choice: Critical Thinking.

According to the Foundation for Critical Thinking, critical thinking is defined as:

Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.

In more basic terms, thinking critically means that you:

  • know where to go for information
  • look at multiple sources
  • assess the credibility of the source
  • identify any bias in the source
  • synthesize the information to draw your own conclusion based on your values, needs, experience, knowledge, and rules of logic

This is how a superhero sees through the B.S. to the truth, and follows their heart (and their head) even when it’s not popular. They have compared the arguments and “facts” put to the public, located additional and more valid sources of information, and reached their own answers through careful research, analysis, and logical application. As superheroes, I urge you to fight against ignorance, sift through the crap, and find the truth buried beneath so it can come to light.  Nothing is more dangerous than a lie, but for some reason nothing is as hard to hear as the truth. We have to change that.

Tell me, what lie have you uncovered lately and what did you do to bring the truth to light?