No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever.
These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life. By immersing yourself in the science of cognitive biases and critical thinking, and by learning how to think about thinking (a practice known as metacognition), you'll gain concrete lessons for doing so more critically, more intelligently, and more successfully.
The key to successful critical thinking lies in understanding the neuroscience behind how our thinking works - and goes wrong; avoiding common pitfalls and errors in thinking, such as logical fallacies and biases; and knowing how to distinguish good science from pseudoscience. Professor Novella tackles these issues and more, exploring how the (often unfamiliar) ways in which our brains are hardwired can distract and prevent us from getting to the truth of a particular matter.
Along the way, he provides you with a critical toolbox that you can use to better assess the quality of information. Even though the world is becoming more and more saturated information, you can take the initiative and become better prepared to make sense of it all with this intriguing course.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
I already read other more interesting books that cover this. The book uses too long time to explain the same thing over and over again. Some of the stories are interesting. (i only read 2/3 of the book yet, but im not sure i will complet it)
I really enjoyed this course. I do wish that it were taught in public schools as critical thinking is so important in every aspect of Our Lives. dr. novella has outdone himself. I first learned of this course listening to his podcast the Skeptics Guide to the universe. I can't recommend this course enough.
This is extraordinary in its methodical analysis of flaws in human cognition and the scientific approach to better thinking. That might sound dry or pedantic but it's anything but that. I was familiar with much of this but I don't remember ever hearing this material in a more thoughtful or compelling or thorough way. The pace was great, the message encouraging and I found it great food for thought. Really a nice listen for emotional creatures interested in rational thought.
Steven Novella takes you on a journey to help you think about the way we think. The course is based on many concepts of social psychology. He usually explains a concept and then gives a very tractable example to easily understand.
I loved listening to the course, because it kept being exciting from the beginning to the end. I feel like I learnt a lot about myself and human behavior in general.
The lectures were illuminating, very well paced with fascinating content. As someone living in India I may well be in the midst of one of the largest populations with a distinct absence of critical thinking and the ability access knowledge of this nature has been immensely gratifying. I highly recommend listening to other wonderful lectures such as understanding the mysteries of human behaviour in sequence with this series as they overlap on many points, reinforcing their messages without repeating each other
It's far from a "great course" however the information covered was an excellent starting point for anyone interested in formal logic or increasing their reasoning skill set.
If you've ever listened to the Skeptics Guide podcast - and you definitely should- this is a perfect way to get a solid basis for the types of conversations commonly breached in their episodes.
In short, Steven Novella gives us an overview to the question: how do we determine truth and falsehood, and how does science help us overcome our inherent blindness in that endeavor?
Starting with individual illusions, then moving on to social phenomena such as mass delusions, Novella then gets to the meat of his lectures with the basis of logic, fallacies, and an introduction to the scientific method.
Much of this information would be touched on in your average high school/undergrad science class: What is the scientific method? What determines a good source? But usually these philosophical underpinnings to science are glanced over during syllabus week, and every student of course is just worrying about the curriculum for the upcoming weeks. The real value to this audiobook is that we get a hard look at what it means to be a critical thinker, and where that critical thinking is weakest in our everyday lives.
If you've ever been in discussion with a friend, who you just KNOW is wrong, but you can't quite pin down how...or if you dont know how to parse your own opinions in a rational way...if you have a desire to find intellectual honesty in a complicated world...I highly recommend this lecture series.
Because of the way we evolved over the ages, be it millions of years or something much shorter, our minds developed shortcuts so we could survive out in the world. Now that we have, in certain regions and to varying degrees, managed to overcome the most immediate threats to our existence; finding enough to eat while avoiding being eaten. The shortcuts we developed then are not as nearly required as they once were. This course teaches what the shortcuts are (confirmation bias, stereotyping etc.) and steps one can take to avoid them when necessary, and the means to overcome them and see more clearly the trees and the forests of modern day life.
Outstanding! I have had many discussions and arguments with folks that need to hear this book, especially when using social media. Many of the examples are relevant and crucial to understanding the points being made by the professor. Will listen again soon!
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