critical analytical thinking moderated cynicism n.
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CRITICAL ANALYTICAL THINKING (Moderated cynicism). Research Methods. Critical analytical thinking …. is not believing everything you read or disbelieving everything you read … but, by trying to be objective, … striking a balance between the two. Information sources. Journal papers

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critical analytical thinking
Critical analytical thinking …
  • is not believing everything you read
  • or disbelieving everything you read
  • … but, by trying to be objective, …
  • striking a balance between the two
information sources
Information sources
  • Journal papers
  • Conference papers
  • Books
  • Media (TV, radio, newspapers, etc.)
  • Internet (WWW)
  • How would you rank these in terms of being reliable/trustworthy or up-to-date?
the critical analytical thinker
The critical analytical thinker …
  • doesn’t believe everything they read
  • doesn’t disbelieve everything they read
the critical analytical thinker1
The critical analytical thinker …
  • questions everything that doesn’t make sense to them
  • questions some things even though they do make sense to them
  • rereads material when they think they may have missed something
the critical analytical thinker2
The critical analytical thinker …
  • considers the type of material they are reading before evaluating it
  • considers the context of material when they interpret what they read
  • considers the audience for whom the writing was intended
the critical analytical thinker3
The critical analytical thinker …
  • tries to determine the author’s purpose in writing
  • decides whether they think the author has accomplished their purpose
the critical analytical thinker4
The critical analytical thinker …
  • recognises that the author’s attitude will influence what they write
  • recognises that the effect on them of what the author writes may be caused more by the author’s style of writing than the facts presented
the critical analytical thinker6
The critical analytical thinker …
  • recognises, in the case of an argument, whether or not the opponent’s viewpoint has been refuted
  • recognises unsupported opinions or allegations
  • recognises conflicting information and inconsistencies
  • discounts arguments based on poor reasoning
the critical analytical thinker7
The critical analytical thinker …
  • recognises and understands metaphors, figures of speech, idioms, colloquialisms and slang
  • recognises the connotations (implicit meaning) as well as the denotations (actual meaning) of words
the critical analytical thinker8
The critical analytical thinker …
  • distinguishes between what the author really says and what they might seem to say
  • distinguishes among humour, sarcasm, irony, satire and straightforward writing
the critical analytical thinker9
The critical analytical thinker …
  • distinguishes between necessary inferences and probable (or possible) inferences
  • recognises actual or intended implications of statements made
  • recognises assumptions which are implicit in the author’s statements
the critical analytical thinker10
The critical analytical thinker …
  • distinguishes fact from opinion and objective writing from subjective writing
  • doesn’t misinterpret given data
when do i do this
When do I do this?
  • All of the time?
  • When I feel like it?
  • Try to practice it at first so that eventually it comes naturally
  • Start with a couple of (silly) exercises …
exercise 1
Exercise 1

Little Jack Horner sat in a corner

Eating a Christmas pie

He put in his thumb and pulled out a plum

And said, “What a good boy am I!”

Discuss the following statements …

exercise 11
Exercise 1

Jack Horner was little

“True” is OK but “can’t tell” is better (“little” can be used as an absolute or comparative term)

exercise 12
Exercise 1

Jack was sitting in the corner while he was eating

“True” is correct. There is no other interpretation to the words (and tenses)

exercise 13
Exercise 1

Jack was eating a plum pie

“Can’t tell” is correct. It may have been but it may have been an apple pie, which unexpectedly contained a plum. Otherwise, why is he making such a fuss about it?

exercise 14
Exercise 1

Jack was standing in the corner


exercise 15
Exercise 1

Jack was sitting on a chair

“Can’t tell”

exercise 16
Exercise 1

Jack was a good boy

“Can’t tell” He said he was a good boy but maybe he’s mistaken or he’s a liar

exercise 2
Exercise 2

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.

Discuss the following statements …

exercise 21
Exercise 2
  • The woman was old
  • The woman was small
  • The woman’s children lived in the shoe with her
  • The woman didn’t really live in a shoe but her house was so small that she called it a shoe
  • The woman had a pet cat
Homework …
  • Read an academic paper
  • Read a government white paper
  • Watch TV
  • Read The Times/The Sun
  • Listen to Radio 1/Radio 4
  • Watch “How to Get Ahead in Advertising”
    • (not essential but good for a laugh)
  • Read the last thing you wrote!