Consider what they might hope to gain through writing this piece. What information might be missing that could paint a different picture? Evaluating evidence in the text What kinds of evidence or examples does the writer use? How reliable and useful is this evidence? Does it really support the argument? Is the evidence strong enough?
Differences Between Analytical & Critical Thinking
Is the data up-to-date? Does the text use reliable sources? What are these? What makes you think they are or are not reliable? Looking for bias Do you think there may be any bias in the text? Give reasons and examples. Comment on any statistics used. Are these likely to give a true and full picture? Does their writing reflect a political viewpoint? There is a third possibility as well; perhaps you decide that you can sell the car you don't really like, buy a cheaper one and have enough left to fix the roof.
You find you can raid your retirement fund for enough down payment to lower the monthly payment to a more affordable amount without causing unacceptable damage to that retirement account and discover that a new road is being built that will cut 15 miles off the commute. Now your analytical thinking skills have found the problems that could have made you very unhappy in a few months and found solutions as well - solutions that are an acceptable trade off for you. In the example above, the third possibility shows how your wants and desires should be used to come to the right decision or conclusion.
Not by subverting your critical and analytical reasoning process but by forcing that same reasoning process to find other possibilities or avenues that can provide your wants. Your wants may well cause you to reason out a decision or conclusion; to have to choose which action to take or product to buy.
Those desires, however, should not make the decision or the choice itself. They must be allowed only to cause the decision or choice to be made. Critical and analytical thinking must then be used to make the actual choice with as little interference from your wants or emotions as possible.
Once the pros and cons of any decision have been discovered you must weight those against your own want in a very analytical manner to determine exactly what you will be spending time, money, friends or family, whatever it might be and what you will gain from that cost. Once more your wants must be set aside and clear, critical thinking used to determine if the want is worth the cost.
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A second example: Joe works with a beautiful woman, Jill, who has made advances. Joe wants Jill but must decide if the cost of losing his wife and family, his home and half his bank account, future child support payments are all worth the prize. The internal lie Only one night, and I won't get caught is not allowed; the probability that it will continue and he will get caught must be accounted for. Yet few people apparently are able to think critically or analytically here; over half of American marriages fail, the divorce courts are overloaded and huge numbers of children are from one parent homes.
Many of these circumstances can be traced to infidelity. The correct answer is usually obvious, but so many people cannot go beyond a child's level of reasoning; I want so I get without any attempt at critical or analytical thought. The want is allowed to perform the reasoning process with predictable results. Your own past experiences can provide an invaluable resource for analytical reasoning, but should be used with caution. Past experience seldom matches exactly with new circumstances and memory is seldom perfect as well.
Specifically "common sense" that is based on past experience often turns out to be based on what you were told not what you actually experienced and may not be accurate at all. In addition common sense often changes with time and new information; coconut oil, once thought to be very bad for the heart as it contains saturated fats is now considered quite good for your heart. The common sense declaration about saturated fats has been found to be only partially true.
Between old experiences and new data it is quite likely that new possibilities are available; perhaps a different conclusion is in order. We all know that much of the information available on the internet should be suspect, but few consider that old knowledge from our childhood is also quite suspect. Times change and new discoveries are always being made. Memories fade and change. Something that we absolutely knew to be true 20 years ago may turn out not to be true at all. Use the best information you have available to make decisions, and the more important the decision the better that information needs to be.
If you decide to have Cheerios for breakfast and discover you don't have any on hand it isn't the end of the world, but if you purchase a house you can't afford it could well be repossessed. Don't let your critical and analytical thinking process fail for lack of good, solid information - the best you can come up with.
Why are analytical skills important?
Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. I believe you are quite right - prepackaged information from sources that only want us to buy something or vote a certain way is generally worth exactly what we paid for them.
Most "information" on the web is very highly suspect as well, and must be critically considered from as many angles as we can. It is not always easy to determine what is true and what is just spin, but the effort must be made. It is part of the information age. This is an excellent hub. I too feel that we as a nation are losing our ability to think analytically critically by swallowing wholesale prepackaged "ideas" from faux-"authorities" a la Rhonda Byrne who are out to sell us their next book or product, laughing at our gullibility all the way to the bank.
Critical thinking takes great empathy and great self-awareness through inner WORK. Most people couldn't be bothered. Is critical thinking even taught in schools anymore--or has it also been castrated by fundamentalists? Bravo, Wilderness! I doubt that they were all bad as you put it. Between the recession and some big medical bills my own quality of life has deteriorated; major entertainment has, for the last couple of years, been hot dogs on the barbecue with my son's family.
I have decided, however, to spend a little of that retirement savings to increase our enjoyment of life and if it costs some later on, so be it. Life has become an unending round of work with no play or fun and I'm tired of it. That doesn't mean that I intend to spend thousands or even hundreds each month on play, but an occasional meal out, a camping trip or a movie will now be in the budget come hell or high water. Thanks for at least letting me feel that my recent decisions haven't been all bad. If I spend my retirement time with out as much as I would like it will be OK.
Critical and Analytical Thinking
I have learned to live with just paying bills. I believe that, especially in the financial field, both needs and wants must be balanced. If a person spends only on needs without regard to wants life can become a drag and not worth living. It is not always inappropriate to spend on wants - those can actually be needs greater than other needs.
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The trick is to balance the two in such a way that both are met in appropriate measures. It is something that everyone I know needs to work on - I have a tendency to spend only on needs particularly in today's economy with retirement approaching and seldom if ever spend on what I enjoy. I need to balance the two better and spend a little more on my wants and emotional needs rather than simply save for the future. Session 1: Activity 3, Extract 1 File. Download Resource. Session 1: Activity 3, Extract 2 File. Academic and professional skills checklist File.
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