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
24 lectures and just maybe the last three actually had useful tips on critical thinking skills. A third of the lectures were letting me know my memory is worthless. Another hefty portion was that most science is junk. He spent almost a whole lecture saying over a large population, pre - screening tests are bad. At the end, about the only useful tips were check your sources and get your info from multiple sources, two things every college student gets ingrained in their head. About a minute before the entire series was over, he at least admitted that we shouldn't trust him just as he said we should never trust ourselves nor anyone else. NOT recommended.
Someone who is interested in the procedural, and theoretical areas of science
absolutely! I really enjoy most of the great courses
This book spends very little time getting in depth looks into the deceptiveness of the mind, but instead spends most of the time telling us how science works, thinks, and acts. If I wanted a book on science, I would have bought a book that was titled as such.
as a scientist I should be an expert at the topic covered in this course. however I found the material very beneficial and it now has me thinking more critically about my work as I continue to seek out truth in my work and life.
This is a review of an audio book I bought, and I immediately had buyer’s remorse because of a few negative reviews. I could not have been more wrong. I have always admired those who can think clearly, and I felt this book was a great step towards becoming a clear thinker. After listening to the book, I reflected that the number of logical fallacies and flaws in thinking we encounter every day is astonishing. We have many logical fallacies and cognitive weaknesses, from how memories are constructed and being horrible at probability to trusting “experts”—what is an expert? With the advances in bioengineering, people think of engineering the perfect athlete or the next Einstein, but if I want my daughter to become anything, I want her to be a thinker, a clear thinker.
The first problem with our minds is the flaws and fabrications of memory. When we think about memory, we think of a video recorder, which could not be further from the truth. What really happens is that every time we try to recall something, we re-construct that memory from scratch, contextualizing it with new information and adding to it our own biases. For example, if we come across a small car accident, and, later that day, we hear about causalities in a car accident, we might reconstruct that same car accident to include deaths.These interesting research findings show that the more confident we are of a memory, the less likely we’re able to accurately recall what really happened.
It is good for us and bad for us. Another cognitive weakness is pattern recognition, which can also be a strength. We have evolved to construct patterns that served us well: in the wild, if we observe that anyone that visits a certain area becomes lost, then we notice the correlation between going to that area and getting lost, which helps us to survive. The downside is that our brains can detect patterns that aren’t there. Another good example of this are dreams: when one dreams of a certain animal and, immediately after, encounters a bad experience, then one’s brain tends to link that dream to the bad experience. We notice this a lot with athletes: when a tennis player plays exceptionally well while wearing a certain kit, that player links that outcome to wearing that kit rather than more likely reasons, such as training very hard or exploiting the opponent’s weaknesses.
Other problems include confirmation bias—that is, we choose the conclusion with which we’re comfortable and then read books and listen to experts who confirm this pre-determined conclusion without examining other views objectively. Another fallacy is the familiarity bias, which is a big issue for experts. For example, a biologist is more likely to attribute a phenomenon to a biological reason while a sociologist is more likely to attribute the exact same thing to the society, something with which he or she is more familiar. Then, there is the hidden power of mass delusion. For example, when, in certain parts of Africa, more and more people testify about seeing a human with a donkey’s leg, an increasing number of people believe the mythology despite the lack of evidence. Then there is the issue of experts, even if they’re discussing something out of their expertise. An example of this is Lord Kelvin's assertion that the earth’s age is 100 million years, which he later reduced to 20 million years, which is still far from the accurate figure of 4,543 million years.
Good books are everywhere, but great books that make a lasting impact in the way we construct our reality are far between. Professor Steven Novella does a great job at explaining cognitive weaknesses and logical fallacies and how we can be aware of this and mitigate these shortfalls.
Great book! Everyone could benefit from listening to this. You won't be disappointed. This book teaches you so much about your brain, the way you process things, how to step back and really assess a situation or product and see it for what it is. You'll learn how to compensate for your brains own biases and hopefully start making better and more informed decisions.
I want everyone to listen to this. It would help so many people to avoid the errors in thought that are so common in society. It should be a course in high school and college.
A solid entry into the discussion of critical thought. An absolute must for those wishing to approach discussion with a renewed or new sense of purpose, the purpose of applying critical thought!
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