Critical Thinking Isn’t What You Think! – Part 2

Posted by: michael  :  Category: DIY Brain Health

In the first post in this series we said that critical thinking is all about “thinking for yourself” and that simply being critical is letting others think for you. I’m sure you don’t like the sound of that – imagine someone else controlling your mind! Fortunately it doesn’t have to be that way.

In this post we continue to examine the process of critical thinking – we look at some of the ways we can establish relationships between parts that make up a whole.

Let me explain…
Suppose you have a paper file with lots of letters and notes in it. Presumably the letters and notes are in there because they all relate to the file topic. However, as critical thinkers we need to try and establish how each of the individual items might be related. In other words, we examine the information and try to identify any relationships and sequences (order) that might exist within this particular set of information.

When we do that process we are engaging in analytical thinking. Once we establish relationships and sequences in a particular set of information we can use what we’ve discovered to solve problems.

Do you like the sound of that? Good because you’re about to do some critical analysis for yourself. Here goes…

1) Analysing Relationships
See if you can work out the relation between the smaller and larger parts of a whole.
Here’s an example: eye is to head as leg is to body. In other words, eye is a small part of the head which is the larger part. Leg is the smaller part of the body which is the larger part.

Okay, try this one: Circle is to sphere as square is to XXXX

2) Looking for Patterns
How does the following sequence change?   12  23  34  XX  What is the number XX?

The secret is to first work out how to get from the first set of numbers (12) to the second set (23).Once you have established that use the same method to get from (23) to (34).

Does the technique work? If so, you should be able to work out the number XX in the sequence. (answer 45).

Okay… try this one
3      7       12        XX

3) Getting the Picture

Try to visualise this problem by picturing it n your mind. Here it is…
In a local basketball team, Luke is older than Sam but younger than Brad. Andrew is younger than all of them. Who is the second oldest?

Next time we’ll have a closer look at what else is involved in the critical thinking process.

Oops, I almost forgot to give you the answers to the problems. Here they are:

1) Cube
2) 18
3) Luke

How did you go?

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