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Identifying Critical Thinking Hindrances. This tutorial will give you practice in recognizing four common critical thinking hindrances: egocentrism, sociocentrism, unwarranted assumptions and stereotypes, and wishful thinking. Go To Next Slide.

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Identifying Critical Thinking Hindrances

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Identifying critical thinking hindrances l.jpg

Identifying Critical Thinking Hindrances

This tutorial will give you practice in recognizing four common critical thinking hindrances: egocentrism, sociocentrism, unwarranted assumptions and stereotypes, and wishful thinking.

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In a 1989 international study of 13-year-olds, Koreans finished first in mathematics and Americans finished last. Yet when asked whether they thought they were "good at mathematics," only 23 percent of Koreans said "yes," compared to 68 percent of Americans.

Based on what you have learned in this chapter, which critical thinking hindrance do the American youngsters in this study demonstrate?

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In a 1989 international study of 13-year-olds, Koreans

finished first in mathematics and Americans finished last.

Yet when asked whether they thought they were "good at

mathematics," only 23 percent of Koreans said "yes,"

compared to 68 percent of Americans.

Egocentrism.

Egocentrism is self-centered thinking. Chapter 1 discusses two major forms of egocentrism: self-interested thinking and self-serving bias.

Which form of egocentrism do the American students exhibit: self-interested thinking or self-serving bias?

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In a 1989 international test of 13-year-olds, Koreans finished first in

mathematics and Americans finished last. Yet when asked whether

they thought they were "good at mathematics," only 23 percent of

Koreans said "yes," compared to 68 percent of Americans.

Self-serving bias.

Self-serving bias is the tendency to overrate oneself--to be overly confident of one's knowledge, abilities, or good fortune.

The American students in this study certainly don't lack "self-esteem." What they do lack is a proper sense of how little they know about mathematics.

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Muhammad Ali [speaking in Zaire, Africa]: "There's no

country as great as the smallest city in America. I mean

[here in Zaire] you can't watch television. The water won't

even run right. The toilets won't flush. The roads, the cars—

there's nothing as great as America."

Based on your reading of this chapter, what type of critical thinking hindrance does Muhammad Ali display in this passage? .

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Muhammad Ali [speaking in Zaire, Africa]: "There's no country as great as the smallest city in America. I mean [here in Zaire] you can't watch television. The water won't even run right. The toilets won't flush. The roads, the cars--there's nothing as great as America."

Sociocentrism.

Sociocentrism is group-centered thinking, i.e., thinking that is excessively influenced by group standards of conduct or belief.

Chapter 1 discusses two major forms of sociocentrism: group bias and the herd instinct.

What form of sociocentrism does Ali display in this passage: group bias or the herd instinct?

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Muhammad Ali [speaking in Zaire, Africa]: "There's no country as great as the smallest city in America. I mean [here in Zaire] you can't watch television. The water won't even run right. The toilets won't flush. The roads, the cars--there's nothing as great as America.

Group bias.

Group bias is the tendency to think more highly of one's nation, race, school, family, or other social group than is warranted by the evidence.

In saying, for example, that "there's no country as great as the smallest city in America," Ali is clearly overstating the comparative virtues of his own country, and thus is guilty of group bias.

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Sexually active bisexual: “I’ll never get AIDS. I’m a very intuitive person. I would sense it if someone had something as degenerative as the AIDS virus.”

Based on your reading of this chapter, what critical thinking hindrance does this person exhibit?

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Sexually active bisexual: “I’ll never get AIDS. I’m a very intuitive person. I would sense if someone had something as degenerative as the AIDS virus.”

Wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking occurs when a person believes that something is true, not because they have good reasons for the belief, but because they wish it were true.

Persons who engage in risky sexual activity often kid themselves in thinking, “It won’t happen to me.”

Notice that this is also a case of self-serving bias. This person is overly confident of his or her ability to know “intuitively” when a potential sexual partner has the AIDS virus.

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Ed: My friend Dirk is a college sophomore at a state university in upstate New York. He is blonde, loves surfing, and has a very laid-back personality.

Mary: I bet he’s from California.

Based on your reading of this chapter, which critical thinking hindrance does Mary exhibit?


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Ed: My friend Dirk is a college sophomore at a state university in upstate New York. He is blonde, loves surfing, and has a very laid-back personality.

Mary: I bet he’s from California.

Stereotyping.

Having blonde hair, enjoying surfing, and having a laid-back personality are qualities people stereotypically associate with Californians--and this despite the fact that a majority of Californians are not Caucasians. But of course many people who are not from California also have these three qualities. And given that Dirk attends a state university in upstate New York, it is unlikely, in fact, that he comes from California.

This is the end of the tutorial


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