Critical thinking

From metawiki
Monkey contemplating the pseudoscientific nature of homeopathy

Having the skills to think critically about new information is a vital skill in the modern era. Without it, people are subject to grift, pseudoscience, conspiracy, and misinformation.

Critical thinking is often confused with being contrarian. These are not the same thing. A contrarian may offer some valid criticisms of an out-group, but will not concede any valid points they make.

The meaning of critical thinking and skepticism has been muddied in recent years by conspiracy theorists, racists and misogynists, and other misinformation peddlers who employ the language of critical thinking to what is actually institutional contrarianism.

True critical thinking is open to the evaluation of new evidence and willing to change positions if that evidence warrants it, regardless of in-group affiliation.

See Critical Thinking and Reason on Wikipedia. Also related is Logic.

Hidden Brain - How to Open Your Mind

Hidden Brain - Revealing Your Unconscious Part 1 and Part 2

Improve Your Critical Thinking

5 Steps to Improve Critical Thinking

Tracy Chapman - Give Me One Reason