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
As another listener stated, this should be required listening for everyone. I honestly feel like that the skills I learned as a result of these lectures have made me a more observant, overall better person. I have a better grasp on the reality of the world around me because I learned how to pierce through the crap, and really wonder why and how things happen. Thank you Professor Steven Novella for sharing your wisdom.
The Professor did a very nice job of breaking down some modern-day myths and deconstructed them in such a way that there's little room for anyone to argue against it
Marianne? No Ginger. Kidding...this is a series of lectures narrated by the professor who provided the lecture
I don't know that there was any one scene (lecture) in particular that was more compelling than the next. I did enjoy the lectures that discussed scientific greats throughout history that alllowed their biases to derail or misguide further achievements.
meh...this is more of an academic excercise than a suspenseful thrill read. The material was good, but nothing I couldn't put down
the key to the title of this book is A "SCIENTIFIC" guide to critical thinking. Shame on me for not figuring this out, out of the gate, but I originally downloaded this due to an interest in "strategic" thinking in the workplace. While there are undoubtedly parallels in terms of the process of thinking and good information with respect to recognizing biases and how the brain/memory work...this is very much a discussion on debunking or veryifing scientific evidence versus any non-scientific business process.
It's a very good listen nontheless but not what I was expecting and not overly applicable to a corporate business setting (which again, is my own mistake). I only point this out in case anyone else struggles with reading comprehension like I did.
This series of lectures was both entertaining and very enlightening. I found myself every bit as engaged with this as with most of the fiction titles I've listened to and not the slightest bit dry.
The info itself translates well for non-scientists. IMHO it gives the average person different ways of approaching questions and claims made by others - be it medical professionals, sales people or other individuals.
Well worth listening to.
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
are perhaps the best use of audible books ever. I have listened to countless courses in literature, philosophy, and medicine, and they NEVER disappoint. They are all given by a leading lecturer in any given field and are ALWAYS high level university material... This set of lectures by Steven Novallis should be heard by absolutely everyone. As a college instructor, I can unequivocally state that the thing most needed in our culture is clear, logical, critical thinking. This is why I am always saddened to see the paucity of reviews on audible books like this one (I think I am the third one here on Audible with ZERO on Amazon!) while readers line up for tripe, titillation and magical beliefs in "books" about little boys who supposedly go to heaven, satanic ritual hoaxes, the Twilight series and, of course, the poorly conceived and even more poorly rendered pornography of James, Day, and a growing list of other female writers striving for their place in the smut trade. It is no wonder so few of us can think clearly and why human evolution remains such a slow and unsteady process...
With bogus information bombarding us every day, many people would benefit from a skeptical guide to the universe such as this.
First off, let me preface this review by saying I was already familiar with Steven Novella through his podcast, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.
When I heard he had this series of lectures available on Audible, I was quite excited!
I was hoping for a clear, detailed and thorough treatment of Critical Thinking - and Novella delivers in spades, covering topic after topic with a treatment that is brisk, peppered with examples, constructed in a logical and understandable manner and order, and delivered eloquently.
The content is exactly what is says on the tin: if you are interested in Critical Thinking, in knowing how you think and how TO think -- there is no fat here. Logical fallacies and cognitive biases are examined, illustrated and explained.
I would caution the potential listener that this is a series of lectures on a specific subject; I enjoyed it immensely because I happen to be interested in the topic. If I didn't have that interest or I was expecting more of a narrative-type production, I think I would be disappointed.
A further caution: if you have a set of "alternative beliefs", prepare to be challenged! Examine the unfavorable reviews to see this side of things.
However -- and in summary -- if you desire to develop your Critical Thinking skills, to build the sharpest reasoning possible for yourself, or just to explore a scientific approach to understanding how your brain plays tricks on itself, then I give this work the highest recommendation!
IT covered a lot of ground and did so well.
I do a lot of driving and it covered the topic without the need for visuals.
Dr. Novella is very good at communicating, which made this course easy to listen to. Of course the content was excellent as well.
I highly recommend this book to anyone curious about how science, skepticism, or critical thinking.
This is one of the best audiobooks I have ever listened to and my favourite so far of The Great Courses
Professor Novella is easy to listen to, simplifies topics so they are understandable without 'dumbing it down' for his audience.
Everyone should to listen to this and use these tools of critical thinking in everyday life.
Although many of the principles and fallacies are valid, the author is not realy a critical thinker at heart in my opinion. It shows from the examples and words he chooses. When he thinks skepticism is valid he calls is skepticism, but when he thinks it is not, he calls it denialism, just like using the word 'authoritive source'. That is just labeling. When he discusses MMR/authism, he says: because of this 1 report 'compliance' of MMR vacine dropped. Why not use the word 'usage' ? Compliance sounds like an authority robot and that is what the author is leaning towards. He does not understand the amount of money driving scientific reserach for vaccines and global warming research and how that affects the outcome of research.
He also complains that media has become too diverse with internet and that caused a loss of an 'authoritive filter'. A bottleneck in the media however makes it extremely simple to manipulate. That aspartane is not toxic because the FDA approved it, and foreign FDA's as well does not prove anything. You do not need a big conspiracy to explain this. The producing companies own all these monopolies through the revolving door circuit. It's like saying the intelligence agencies can't all be wrong about WMD in Iraq. You have to understand the revolving door with gvt's and the military industrial complex. They WERE wrong, all of them and you could understand why if you follow the money and watch the interaction between regulators, industry and academia. What about all those regulators saying the mortage market was fine before 2008? The author would have called me a tinfoil head conspiracy nut if I had told them all these regulators were wrong in 2007 with their AAA ratingson on junkmortgages. No, I was right, because you have to understand the revolving door between industry and regulators and the big pool of tax money they fish in.
To filter the bogus from truth he advises to 'check if the web site has an ideology or is a respected academic gvt agency, bound by transparancy'. How silly does that sound after Edward Snowden?
The Canadian gvt, besides funding 23000 scientist also issued a gag order for them recently. The gvt is a big corporation with a license to kill and steal.
Aother argument he uses is to ask 'if the source is licensed' Licensed by the goverment I assume? What makes this bunch of people invulnerable to base instincts? gvt's killed 200 million people world wide in the 20th century. His reasoning has a single point of failure, which is a giant pool of tax money, collected by a monopoly of violence in every country on earth.
His 911 views will also prove a big spot on this book in hindsight. A complete building, WTC7, falls at free fall speed in it's own foot print, presumably caused by office fires. Any critical thinker with some physics knowledge, can know a big steel re enforced building does not lose structural integrity everywhere, completely all at the same time because of some office fires. You have to be a denialist to think so ;-)
Every war in history started with a false flag.Hitler dressed up prisoners in Polish uniforms and had them attack german radiostations in operation canned goods, to justify 'retaliation'. After what has become known on operation Northwood and operation Gladio, you have to watch all events that call for a retaliation war with extreme skepticism considering the past.
Dr Steven Novella has written an excellent series of lessons that really helps one understand why people believe strange things. More importantly though, he explains how our own brains can deceive us. Ever wondered how everyone else around you remembers something completely different to how you remember it? Or how someone can come to a completely different conclusion to something than you did, even though you both had the exact same data? This book is fascinating and helps one realise, just because you saw it/ heard it/ analysed it (etc.) doesn't mean you'll come to the correct conclusion unless you take steps to ensure you don't let personal bias get in the way.
His many years as a teacher at Yale and podcasting ensure it is very easy to listen to this series of lectures. Broken down into half hour sessions, you can go through it is small chunks (I listened to it in three large chunks though, I was enjoying it so much). The one criticism I would have, being an audiobook, the times Dr Novella mentions different visual phenomena that fool us becomes a little difficult, not having the picture in front of you (some are famous and probably don't need an accompanying picture, but some aren't). The same with the audio phenomena. It would have been easy to include them in the audiobook. There also appeared to be mention of a workbook, which I could not find out anything about.
Having said that, those few issues were not serious enough for me to take any marks off. This is a great book with some truly fascinating things to learn, read in a way that made the time pass by so quickly.
Thoroughly recommend it.
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