My journey of Critical Thinking so far has taught me to think two ways: Keeping your emotions aside as well as considering them.
There are many situations in every individual’s life where they have to think critically and hop to one conclusion. But is it easy?
I’ve learned to analyse a situation without overthinking. Critical thinking reflects that emotions and reasoning go hand in hand. It gives us ownership of beliefs. The decision between a fact and an opinion will be taken on grey areas and not black & white.
Also, learned that one should not be biased in taking decisions but think critically about what is at stake and what is important for us.
Looking at the quiz results, availability bias governs my thoughts, but I don’t agree with it 100%. Blaming it on the limited options in the quiz 🙂
As we were told to “watch our thoughts, and keep track of them”, after the sessions, I realized that it is pretty exhausting!
A recent read-aloud session with Gr 10, got me back to the task at hand, where I ended up thinking of my own answers to the questions in the book I read out called Q is for question, An ABC of Philosophy. It has questions for each letter of the alphabet. Challenging the reader to define beauty, existence, God, happiness, knowledge and the question ToK asks…How do you know the things that you know?
And with those questions going on in my mind, I also realized that it opens up our memory boxes and then slowly some questions are answered and the unanswered ones tend to pile themselves neatly on the memory shelf, to be tackled another time.
Hello fellow critical thinkers,
Finally after procrastinating a lot, here’s is the time when I actually grabbed the opportunity to share an example where I applied my critical thinking skills by keeping all the biases aside.
Soon after our sessions on CT, our academic year began. I started working with my team enthusiastically to help them overcome all the road blocks. One of the team members struggled a lot in different areas and faced a lot of hiccups. We are all driven by different biases and so was I. A courtesy bias is the tendency to give an opinion that is more socially correct than one’s true opinion, so as to avoid offending anyone. I was a victim to this bias. Despite seeing what was happening, I gave a number of chances as ‘Courtesy Bias’ was dominating (which somewhere also stopped me from giving constructive feedback). Later, after a lot of analysis and critical thinking, I sought guidance from the higher authorities. We analysed what was at stake and made a hard decision which was required- keeping the bias aside.
– Pinky Shah
Most of the times , it happens that we don’t actually question the practices that we are following since years – Default effect : ). We generally get dragged with the processes that are continued since beginning, assuming that it has been happening since years now and that has to be the best.
The same happened with me too. I generally do not ask much questions or rather raise a question on the things that are followed since years.
But this time, I got a good food for thought by my coordinator and I really ended up doing critical thinking whether there is any need for taking up the ICT for our G 1 kids.
Being in school since few years now and knowing the fact that our school is a techno school, thinking of removing ICT was a big NO…NO..in my mind. But I still felt like giving it a thought!!!
I further took it up to my team and juggled in understanding whether it is relevant and significant for students to handle Chromebooks at this age.
We evaluated our own assumptions / ideas / views and decided finally not to have it as students are very young to handle it at this age.
Once the decision was made I felt happy that oh…somewhere I used my critical thinking skill. Thanks to the workshop.
“ We are what we believe we are.” – Lewis Carroll. It holds true for what the world also i.e. what we believe it to be.
This is the poem I could resonate with Confirmation Bias -:
Read it with sorrow and you will feel hate.
Read it with anger and you will feel vengeful.
Read it with paranoia and you will feel confusion.
Read it with empathy and you will feel compassion.
Read it with love and you will feel flattery.
Read it with hope and you will feel positive.
Read it with humor and you will feel joy.
Read it without bias and you will feel peace.
Do not read it at all and you will not feel a thing.
Confirmation Biases does cloud my judgments.
First of all, would like to thank Mariyam maam & Shezin maam for the wonderful first session of CT workshop. The next session is approaching & looking forward towards it. It was really interesting, different & most importantly had an impact towards the thinking pattern. Recently appeared for the quiz shared with us & the outcome was Framing…….. Is it ? How could it be ? Let me again check ! These were the reactions once I submitted the quiz and came across the result. Agree to a large extent now & Framing is actually a bias in which brain makes a decision on the basis of information depending upon how it is presented. We respond differently on the basis of the information which could be presented either in positive or negative manner.
Maybe, if a franchise owner approaches a aspiring Footballer to join his team, the player might refuse if he presents his teams performance this way ( the team lost 9 matches out of 20 matches played last year). On the other hand, he might accept the offer if the record is put the other way like ” the team won 11 matches out of 20 last year”.
However, the record & outcome is same but put up in different ways.
I attended a quiz shared by Mariyam mam. Being honest while answering the questions of the quiz, I came to know that which bias is directing or driving my thoughts. The AAHA…!!! a moment is that I completely agree with the result of the quiz. Here it is.
Thank you Mariyam mam and Shezin mam for all your efforts.
I saw a Gujarati movie last week ‘Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye’, and it was a mesmerizing experience. It showcases a rich family stuck at a crossroad wherein their reputation, luxuries, and comfort are at stake because they had incurred the heavy loss. The young generation of the house helps the elders to critically think over the decision taken. They help them analyze the situation from all the perspective which leads to the realization of the blunder they were about to commit. Later the decision taken by them helps the family to live a respectful and happy life. It shows how we completely depend on system one and don’t analyze the situation cautiously when in stress. The decision-making process is beautifully captured and it is a must watch for those who struggle taking decisions at grave situations.
Disclaimer: Written in the last 10 minutes 🙂
I dont know about my belief in God but what I do believe in is that (at the cost of sounding very “right winged”) is that we come from a rich, cultural heritage. Here’s my hypothesis: I believe that our ancestors held a lot of wisdom and this wisdom was shared with the common people. Somewhere, there was a need to wrap this wisdom in a more palatable form or make some “good practices” common practices.. and BINGO.. there came religion and a set of associated beliefs and superstitions. We all must have heard the story of the Buddhist monastery which meditated while tying a cat to a lamppost. The story of religion and superstitions would follow a similar trajectory of evolution.
Let me give you a few examples to further help you understand where I am coming from:
1. The Indian cow: “gau rakshaks” have earned a notorious name in recent times but do we understand what value the Indian cow holds? If you google it, you will understand what I am saying. Can we use our newly acquired critical thinking skills to separate the noise and the message?
2. I shared an article about it recently . Deep breathing is good for you. Stanford medical school now confirms it. but hello! I mean Baba Ramdev made an entire nation do the “kapalbhaati” and from time immemorial, yogic breathing is a part of our tradition
There are many other examples that I have!
My request to my fellow critical thinkers is that “THINK, Look for confirming and disconfirming evidence” but dont dismiss the native wisdom that we possess.
Now, where does god and religion come here? These same “learned, wise men and women” devised religion / God/ scriptures to guide us on the right way of life (for example: i am doing a gita class and one learning that has really stuck is that “i need to be free from becoming a smaller person. I understand this as always being or attempting to be large hearted, generous, forgiving, gratitude. Works for me! If this is what religion will teach me, I am willing to buy it. I am equipped with a rational and thinking mind and what i call as a “bullshit filter” which will help me cut the noise from the message.) I acknowledge that education (and specifically a “western” education has equipped me to do so)
But if I am at a well placed position that allows me to enjoy the benefits of a Western Education and our native wisdom, I intend to make full use of it and selectively adopt certain “religious” practices or tenets which will do me only good
Is there a God? I have heard and infact questioned myself several times. After digging deep, I start questioning God himself…are you there. Then ultimately realise….there is God, may be not physically present but yes, I believe, there is a supreme power, some energy that brings positivity in me and strives me to stay and keep my calm, helps me come out during my hardships.
Religion on the other hand, gives me a track to move on(but not gets us close to God in any case)and help me keep myself more organised. However, rituals does not do any good to me. I do it because my family wants me to do and I am sure that a crow can never do anything for me. In my good/difficult times, God has been a source to keep myself balanced. For me, it is more about faith in that supreme power.
I go to temple to seek my answers, not with God but myself.
More than religion, I believe in the theory of Karma – “you get served what you deserve” and that supreme energy helps me in resorting the right path !!