Logical & Critical Thinking

with Professor Logic

10 Ways or Techniques to Help Improve Critical Thinking

10-ways-to-improve-critical-thinkingHere is a list of 10 ways or techniques you can try to help improve critical thinking.

  1. Question the Evidence
  2. Establish Criteria
  3. Learn about Logic
  4. Learn about Logical Fallacies
  5. Identify the Premise
  6. Learn about Cognitive Bias
  7. Identify your Emotions
  8. Identify your Genetic Instincts
  9. Question your indoctrination
  10. Try to Prove yourself Wrong

Question the Evidence

Whenever you are analyzing something try to to question the validity of the evidence. Is the evidence correct? What reasons do we have for trusting the evidence? Claims should be backed up with some evidence that can stand up to skepticism.

Establish Criteria

It is good to establish a set criteria when analyzing subjects. As an example if we are choosing which car to buy we might set certain criteria on gas mileage, mileage, brand, and price. We would then apply these criteria fairly to each car in our evaluations. The same might go for philosophies or religions. We would need to establish criteria by which to judge them evenly and fairly.

Learn Logic

Understanding logic will help us process information better and formulate better beliefs, claims, and arguments. Learning about logic goes along way to help us improve our critical thinking, the two are like peanut butter and jelly.

Learn about Logical Fallacies

Learning about logical fallacies will help you identify others claims that are built in a logically fallacious manner and structure. Another reason to learn about logical fallacies is to prevent your self from making claims and arguments that are structurally fallacious.

Identify the Premise

When hearing a claim or analyzing a statement it is important to identify the premise. When you identify the premise you can decide if it is valid or agreeable. If you do not agree with the premise of a statement or claim you cannot continue further. Instead, you must regress back and try to figure out a valid premise, if one exists.

Learn about Cognitive Bias

A Cognitive Bias is a weird trick where the mind distorts reality. Having a knowledge of what cognitive biases are will help you identify them when you do them and when others do them.

Identify your Emotions

Knowing your emotions will help you understand your urges and decisions better. Being able to recognize and identify your emotions will help you key into actions and behaviors that seem good at the time but are actually not appropriate.

Identify Genetic Instincts

Deep genetic instincts might drive us to behaviors and actions that are not critically thought out. The loyalty to the tribe, a deep genetic instinct, might make us violent toward others where this type of behavior is completely unwarranted, unjust, and immoral.

Question your Indoctrination

We are all indoctrinated into things growing up. Whether it is jingoistic patriotism, religion, racial, or political almost all of us have been indoctrinated into a belief. In order to think critically we need to question and test the validity of these indoctrinations.

Try to Prove yourself Wrong

In order to think critically we have to admit we are wrong a lot. No one has all the answers. If you try to prove your beliefs and ideas wrong and test them you will help yourself admit error more. The more errors we get rid of in our beliefs the more likely we are to hold good logical beliefs.

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  • MicroscopeConsultant

    I’ve never understood why Logic isn’t a subject that is required by primary schools throughout the nation, each and every year. Critical and sound thinking is a must and would be beneficial to society as a whole. Much more so than Shakespeare’s sonnets or the Pythagorean theorem.

  • Beth

    Logic should be required, in addition to sonnets and Pythagorean theorum. Logic and Critical Thinking are the basis for understanding the world; Shakespeare and Pythagoras are proof of the application of logic (in fact, being mathmatical, the Pythagorean Theorum is a part of logic). Students need both, and I think it’s silly that Logic is not a required course for public schools. Learning Shakespeare, or anything else for that matter, without first learning the root of all subjects (logic), seems to have no purpose.

  • John Nada

    Yes, logic would be taught if the purpose of education was to create a society of free thinkers. Instead it is a system designed to indoctrinate the vulgar masses into a class of slaves for rent who don’t question authority or think too hard because they are too busy being distracted by trivialities and serving the elite.