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 Post #3: Issues, Conclusions, and Reasons

Reading Reflection 3

  1. The first issue is descriptive issues. These issues reflect individuals curiosity about patterns or order in the world. The other issue mentioned is prescriptive issues and these questions touch on ethics and morals. Prescriptive issues touch on right and wrong, good or bad, and answer how things ought to be. You can tell the difference between the two issues by inferring from cues, researching the writer, and understanding which issue is which and how each of them are asked. 
  2. To determine the authors conclusion, ask “What is the writer or speaker trying to prove?” Or “what is the communicator’s main point?” To locate the conclusion, find the statement that the writer wants you to believe or the this, because of that statement. With that, anything that you infer is also a conclusion based on the understanding and reading you have read. The following clues may also help when finding the conclusion. 1. Ask what the issue is: know the issue and find the response. 2. Look for indicator words: listen for indicator words to prepare for a conclusion or summed up thesis. 3. Look in likely locations: beginning and end often mention the conclusion. 4. Remember what a conclusion is not: not examples, stats, definitions, or evidence. 5. Check the context of the communication and the authors background: know the author because they often write in similar positions of issues. 
  3. An argument is the combination of the reasons and final conclusion. There can be very few reasons or many reasons that are related to the conclusion. The characteristics of an argument are intent or hope to convince the reader, quality variance, and they have both a reason(s) and conclusion. 
  4. Why? Why does the writer or author believe this? (Or a similar form to the question.) Indicator words for reasons include: because, as a result of, is supported by, studies show that, for the reason that, and because….
  5. Identify (a) the overall issue discussed, (b) the author’s conclusion, and (c) the author’s reasons that explain why we should believe the conclusion. (A) The issue of the article is how can intellectual humility make you a better person. (b) The conclusion is that intellectual humility involves more than what we know. It involves listening to others while applying some empathy and talking time to expand our knowledge and accept, at times, what we think may be wrong. (c) One reason for this conclusion are the studies done and the research found by the University of California. They have proven that listening to others helps to increase our long-term intellectual process. Another reason is people strive for wisdom and they want to know more. Reason three includes the more intellectually flexible people are, the more people have to gain.