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Is there hope for Critical Thinking?

Is there hope for Critical Thinking?
Amongst the highest top of mind anxieties for parents and undergraduate students seeking post graduate admissions is whether the student will be able to get admission in a good post graduation course or college. The competition for seats in good universities and institutions is intense In India. There are a hundred or more competent aspirants for each seat in reputed institutions. The admission criteria are of a very high standard, and then comes the intense elimination rounds where each student is pitted against the other to prove themselves as more deserving and competent than others. This is an unfortunate situation for the students and parents as the highly competitive environment makes it a very high stress period. It is even more stressful since the students are tested on skills that they have not been trained for or tested for in the past. Several top institutions have designed their admission tests...
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Benefits of Critical thinking in the workplace


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Confirmation bias

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Confirmation bias is the tendency to selectively search for and interpret information in a way that confirms with one's pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses. In other words, you interpret new information in a way so that it becomes compatible with your existing beliefs, and if it can't be interpreted, you either choose to ignore it or call it an exception.

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Critical Thinking workshops at JIPMER, Puducherry


I was invited to conduct a workshop on Critical Thinking at JIPMER. The workshop size I prefer is a maximum of 30 participants. However since 68 participants wanted to take the workshop, we ended up conducting two batches back to back on 30th November and 1st December 2015. Both the workshops witnessed very active participants from the Doctors, HOD's and doctoral students in the workshops. See what the participants have to say about the Critical Thinking workshop : http://criticalthinkingacademy.net/index.php/what-participants-say The Director of JIPMER, Dr. Parija inaugarated the workshop, and Critical Thinking for Doctors was an initiative of the Director, and Dr. Adithan - Professor and HOD , Department of Pharmacology.
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Critical Thinking Workshop For Students


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What is Critical Thinking - what you can expect to learn in a course on Critical Thinking

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What is Critical Thinking?

What is Critical Thinking? Many times i have been asked to explain what is Critical Thinking as not many seem to be very familiar with this phrase, despite it being used extensively by Business and in Education. There are already many definitions of Critical Thinking out there - but I don't think they help us understand what are the elements of Critical Thinking, or what we are expected to know and practice if we are Critical Thinkers. Here's a brief presentation about Critical Thinking. http://www.slideshare.net/prasadarya/what-is-critical-thinking-45871941
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Why should students Learn Critical Thinking?


Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Many students are not clear as to What Critical Thinking is - or why they should learn it. Check out this presentation which articulates reasons we believe make it essential for students to acquire these skills. http://www.slideshare.net/prasadarya/why-should-students-learn-critical-thinking
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Is there any reasoning in Hitler's speeches?


Adolf Hitler was a great speaker, and he was able to persuade an entire nation to follow him. Here's a sampling of his speeches. If you analyze what he says - you will see that there is very little reasoning, but full of rhetoric that appeals to the ego of the people to be a great nation. We must have knowledge of Critical Thinking if we are to be immune to rhetoric and recognize it when we come across it.  
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Critical Thinking in GRE

GRE Analytical Writing  are a test of  Critical Thinking. Analytical Thinking and Critical Thinking are synonymous. So what is Critical Thinking? Leaving alone the definitions which are useful from an academic point of view, Critical Thinking essentially is the process of  considering and evaluating all dimensions of a situation before arriving at a decision or conclusion or belief about a claim being true or false. Lets take an example: You have to make a career choice, and you decide to become a musician because you love music. Lets say you play the guitar well, and decide to be make your living out of being a lead guitarist. So you have a reason for choosing your means of livelihood. But if you are a critical thinker, you would ask a few more questions before you actually froze on the option of making a living out of playing the guitar. Some of...
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Critical Thinking in B2B Sales

Critical Thinking in B2B Sales
Is the customer persuaded by logical reasoning, or by emotional persuasion? When it comes to B2C sales, it is a combination of emotive factors and logical reasoning. However in a B2B environment, the decisions are largely made based on logical reasoning. Weeding out superficial factors and other influences (such as pricing) to the decision making process, what will  persuade a Business to buy a product depends on: 1. How well the offering solves the problem or meets the requirement 2. The credibility of the organization making the offering. All Sales and Marketing teams recognize the need to persuade, and at an organizational level, they do build Product and company presentations, Sales collateral intended to persuade, Case studies and Client testimonials. In Enterprise level organizations, the Sales teams largely have Critical Thinking skills, and are able to leverage these effectively, and also meaningfully modify them depending on the need for that...
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The Line-Drawing Fallacy

Also called the Continuum Fallacy. This is a variation of the False Dilemma Fallacy.  This fallacy presents the alternatives as: Either there is a precise line to be drawn, or else there is no line to be drawn (no difference) between one end of the line and the other. Examples JOhn is not rich. If someone gives him one dollar, he is not going to become rich. If he is given two dollars, he is not going to become rich. So how many ever dollars he is given he is never going to be rich. What if we were to give him twenty million dollars one by one very quickly? Of course, he would become rich. But since we cannot point to the precise dollar that makes him rich, he can never get rich (so the fallacy) Lets say Prasad is not bald now. If he loses one hair, he...
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The Perfectionist Fallacy

This is a variation of the False Dilemma Fallacy, also called the Continuum Fallacy. It goes something like this: If Policy X does not meet all the objectives as well as we want it to (ie perfectly), then Policy X should b rejected. This principle downgrades X simply because it isn't perfect. It says in effect " Either the policy is perfect. else we must reject it"   Some examples DRS and BCCI Lets take a look at the DRS (Decision Review System in Cricket). The system offers 90 t0 95% accuracy. However the BCCI is not in favor of the system because it is not 100% Correct. This is a debatable stance. Those who believe 90 to 95% accuracy is adequate, would say that the BCCI is a victim/perpetrator of the Line Drawing Fallacy - unless it is 100% accurate, it will not accept the DRS Other examples -...
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False Dilemma

 In this type of arguments, you are Presented with   a limited set of alternatives when there are actually other choices   that are worth considering in the context. Example: "Every person is either my enemy or my friend. If he is my enemy I should hate him. If he is my friend I should love him. So I should either love him or hate him." Obviously, the conclusion is too extreme because most people are neither your enemy nor your friend.   Another way to look at a False Dilemma is : It is an oversimplification that offers a limited number of options (usually two) when in reality more feasible and valid options are available. You are asked to choose between X or Y. There may be a third option Z (and maybe a fourt and fifth as well) , but that is not considered. .    This is...
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