Reading Reflection #10: Overcoming Obstacles to Critical Thinking

Based on your reading of ARQ chapter 12: “What Reasonable Conclusions Are Possible?”, respond to the following prompts:

  1. Summarize your understanding of dichotomous (also called black and white) thinking. Provide an example of a well-known social issue in which this type of thinking is often used.
    • Dichotomous thinking is the assumption that there are only two potential answer. For example yes or no, right or wrong, correct or incorrect. A well-known social issue would be the idea of abortion. Many people think abortion is either a yes or not, right or wrong action.
  2. According to ARQ, what are some dangers of dichotomous thinking? How does “grey thinking” and using “if-clauses” enable you to find the best possible solution to an issue or problem?
    • One danger of dichotomous thinking is that there is no deeper thinking of a topic they only think about what is there and present. Another danger is that people can get very heated when discussing dichotomous type topics (when a topic most often has a yes or no thought behind it). Grey thinking and if-clauses help individuals to explore the options of answers deeper. They also create multiple conclusions rather than only two and you then arrive to a conclusion that is deeper in thought without pretending that more is known.

Self Reflection

  1. Based on the readings, discussions, and assignments you’ve completed for HONS 250, describe how your thinking has changed since the beginning of the semester.
    • My thinking has changed for the good. I believe that I know want to know more about the reading and find myself asking questions about what I am reading as I read. I have a greater appreciation for thinking deeper and a better understanding of what critical thinking is and how it can deepen my understanding to take full advantage of the information that is given to me. 
  2. What have you learned about yourself as a result of taking HONS 250?
    • I have learned that I need to slow down when reading in specific. I find that I would read the information so fast that I would only understand the bare minimum when I should be slowing down to understand all parts.
  3. What are some ways you will continue practicing your critical thinking skills beyond this semester?
    • I will continue my critical thinking skills to help me better understand what I am reading and evaluating. I will also use critical thinking on other papers and in other classes to evaluate the readings and information.

Reading Reflection #7: Evidence Part 1

  1. In class we have been working on identifying arguments in written material. You’ll remember that an argument must have both a conclusion and reasons. The next step in evaluating information critically is looking for the evidence that supports the reasons. Summarize, in your own words, the textbook’s definition of evidence (don’t forget to provide an in-text citation).
    • Evidence is defined as information that is backed up or justifies the dependability of a factual statement given by the communicator (Browne, M. N. 2018).
  2. Provide a brief definition of each of the four different types of evidence discussed in this chapter (personal experience, case examples, testimonials, and appeals to authority). What is a strength and a potential problem with the validity and/or reliability of each of the four types of evidence?
    • Personal experience use memories or past personal encounters as evidence to support a belief. A weakness of personal experience is that it is not a representative sample and may fall into a hasty generalization. A strength is that some outcomes may be possible and may be backed my multiple people. 
    • Case examples are detailed descriptions or stories that are based on observations or interviews that may be in depth or shallow that appeal to peoples emotions. A weakness is that they can appeal to peoples emotions and make people believe that it is proof rather than a story. A strength is they can create images with the details and help people relate to the concept in more depth.
    • Testimonials are personal experiences that provide statement of value that impact how much something should influence us. A weakness is that individuals differ in selectivity, personal interest, omitted information, and human factor. A strength is that it can be used to persuade individuals when used correctly, used most often in commercials, ads, and movies. 
    • Appeals to authority is using a professional, or expert, to have access to certain facts and qualifications to provide more facts. A weakness is that authorities often disagree on specific topics. A strength is that most professionals or experts spend lots of time researching the information they are experts on which makes their word stronger. 
  3. Briefly summarize the article and describe the evidence the author provides. How reliable do you think the evidence is, given the topic of the article, and why? Include an APA citation for the article.
    • The article I choose was 5 Ways Life Would be Better if it Were Always Daylight Savings Time from This article claims, through appeals to authority and case examples, that turning the clocks permanently forward would be better for Americans. They state that there would be decreased crime, less rush hour crashes resulting in lives saved, energy saved, improved sleep, and recreation and commerce flourishing. I believe that the evidence is reliable because of the amount of research the author has done, seen through the use of graphs and statistics to back up their research. The author also provides case examples to each your emotional side that builds their argument. 
    • Calandrillo, S. (2020, March 3). 5 Ways Life Would Be Better If It Were Always Daylight Savings Time. The Conversation.

Reading Reflection #5: Census 2020

  1. Why is it important to be counted in the census?
    • It is important to be counted in the census because the census helps the government understand who is in each area and how they can help the people in each area more specifically. It also helps businesses and city planners decided what is needed in specific areas of each state. 
  2. Who are often uncounted in the census? Why might some people wish not to be counted? What are some personal and societal impacts of not being counted?
    • Many younger people under the age of 5, immigrants or undocumented citizens, and homeless people are often uncounted. One reason people wish not to be counted is the concern for data privacy and confidentiality. Societal and personal impacts of not filling out the census include funding cuts, state and localities assistance decrease, and the possibility of legislation districts reformation for the worst. 
  3. What is one new thing you learned during the session?
    • I learned that the information gathered from the census can not be released for 72 years and the information collected can not be given to FBI or ICE. 
  4. Describe one of your passions (i.e. something important to you) and how it connects with federal or state funding.
    • I am passionate of school for younger kids. I believe that all young children should have access to free public education and if young kids are not counted on the census then funding for the free education for younger kids may be cut.