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.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
Novella's strength is in that he can present on such a topic with a lot of knowledge and not a lot of moralising. It makes topics which could be alienating, confronting people's personal beliefs and experiences much more accessible. Even without visual stimuli, this is engaging and easy to listen to.
I found this lecture series an insightful look in to how we think. The examples used by Prof Novella are interesting and the information provided gives a new perspective to the way we view the world.
The overall premise that the scientific method is a cornerstone to critical thinking is clearly presented with examples that most of us will relate to. However, some examples to debunk misguided conspiracy theories were poorly chosen because the evidence is too confused and the truth too concealed that both mainstream and fringe positions can't be reliably adopted by the public wishing to know the truth. The course reaffirmed my experience in life that you can trust no one other than what you can glean from the literature to form a probabilistic opinion on what is real and truthful. Loyalty to your ego to be right all the time is most people's biggest weakness including myself. The presenter provided very weak arguments on several examples including president Kennedy's assassination and the events of 911. He also curiously avoided the issues surrounding GMO foods which has become a huge topic globally. Because of the biased treatment of the aforementioned examples and others I give the course only a B+ rather than a clear A.
At first I thought the course was going to breakdown critical thinking and teach how to develop skill right out of the gate. The book did not dive into that until the very end. For most of the book I listened but was disappointed. Once I got to the last few chapter did I realize that the entire book mapped out human thought, gave examples, and indeed teach me what things to look for it warnings about human perception. When the last courses came did I then realize I needed to learn the other topics before I could understand. I felt like a heel because of it. I am explaining this hoping you understand most of the book builds a framework so you can understand critical thinking portion.
Good book and I am glad I finished it.
I love just a few things... Family, Drumming, Baseball, and Intellect.
This course delved deeper into the reasoning for beliefs than I had expected. A truly enlightening journey into your own biases and false reasonings.
One of my favs. If only more people prescribed to critical thinking skills we could move the ball down the field a bit faster.
This was a good course on making sound judgments about the ceaseless noise going on in the world. Scientific skepticism is the name of the game when you want objective and reliable beliefs about the nature of the world.
There are times when he sounds cocky and condescending to a particular observation, but in general he maintains some amount of respect when weighing the merits of a claim.
Definitely recommend to the listener who wants to sharpen their discerning skills while seeking the truth.
In an era where we continue to tell teachers to create critically thinking students but assess students using bubble tests, this course is a welcome relief. I think it should be required listening for every teacher, student, college student, and citizen. It explores the neurocognitive ramifications of thought as well as practical strategies for detecting poor arguments.
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