Unveiling the Power of Critical Thinking: Navigating the Information Maze

01 Introduction uomn
In this era of information explosion, we are getting more and more information, which requires us to be good at thinking, learn to recognize, distinguish between true and false, and judge the pros and cons.

Have you noticed that most of the time, when you see some phenomena and opinions, you have no way of judging whether the answers are right or wrong, and you have no idea to judge them.

We take all the information as written, and every time we read it, we feel as if we have learned a lot.

Opinions that don’t stand up to scrutiny abound on the Internet.

There are some 100,000+ articles that have hit the circle of friends, many of which are full of strong emotions, distorted facts, and full of errors and omissions.But we still enjoy reading them and think they are good articles.

Many advertisements for “cutting leeks” exaggerate the efficacy and describe vividly, and a large number of people will be deceived. Women who love beauty, men who want to be successful, and elderly people who want to be healthy are the hardest hit areas for being deceived.

The root causeof the above situationsis the lack ofcritical thinking< a i=4>, unable to analyze the problem rationally.

02 What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the ability and process that involves the in-depth analysis and evaluation of information to form independent and reasoned judgments.
It helps people think about problems, ask questions, obtain and evaluate information, understand ideas, and reason and infer in a way that is logical and supported by evidence.
Critical thinking requires us to go beyond surface information and develop critical attitudes and skills, which include doubting, asking questions, looking for evidence, solving problems, evaluating ideas, etc.
It also involves logical thinking, analytical skills, reasoning skills and judgment.
Critical thinking is key to developing independent thinking and judgment, which helps us better process information, make informed decisions, solve problems, and respond to change.
For example, if someone says that Chinese and Western cultures are different, management is also very different.You see that the United States uses an end-of-life elimination system and Japan uses a lifetime employment system.
Many people heard this point of view and thought it made sense and greatly appreciated it! This is a sign of a lack of critical thinking.
If you are a critical thinking person, how would you think?
I think he would ask something like this:
Is Japan really a lifelong employment system?
When did it start?
What is the historical background?
Is there any other reason for the lifelong employment system other than the cultural differences between China and the West?
In fact, the lifetime employment system was Japan’s basic post-war employment system. The background of the era was a serious shortage of labor in Japan as a whole. Of course, the influence of cultural differences between China and the West cannot be completely ruled out.
The lifetime employment system is an economic phenomenon that appears in order to prevent workers from changing jobs when there is a serious imbalance between labor supply and demand.
By around 2001, this system began to decline in Japan.
Wang Sicong once answered a question at an event. The question was:

If you must study abroad, do you think you should go after you become an adult or before you become an adult? Why?
Wang Sicong’s answer is:

It would be meaningless if a person went abroad after he was twelve or thirteen years old, especially when he became an adult.

Because my thinking has been solidified and has been compressed into such a state by China’s exam-oriented education.

If you want to go abroad, you must go abroad before you reach adulthood. It is not about learning English or knowledge, but about developing your own thinking model and the ability to make independent judgments.

This ability is actually critical thinking.

In 1998, UNESCO recognized the cultivation of critical andindependent attitudes as one of the missions of higher education to train and engage in research.

People with critical thinking skills have a strong curiosity that drives them to explore.

They will look at things with suspicion and use various methods to verify the authenticity.

If it is beyond the scope of their experience and ability, we will overcome it through learning. They will always try their best to figure out the ins and outs of things.

03 Why should we develop critical thinking?
Criticality helps us analyze and evaluate information rationally, think independently, and make informed decisions. The functions of critical thinking include:

1. Analyze and evaluate information

Critical thinking helps us identify logical errors, biases, fallacies, and inconsistencies in information. By analyzing and evaluating information, we can better understand its reliability and trustworthiness.

2. Think independently

Critical thinking can help us transcend conventional thinking patterns and think independently. It encourages us to question existing ideas and assumptions and seek deeper understanding and answers.

3. Problem solving and decision-making

Critical thinking enables us to better analyze and solve problems. By evaluating evidence, reasoning, and logical deductions, we are able to make more informed, sound decisions.

4. Prevent being deceived

Critical thinking can help us identify false information, rumors and misinformation.

It develops our ability to doubt and scrutinize all kinds of information, making it harder for us to be scammed and deceived.

5. Promote innovation and creativity

Critical thinking encourages us to challenge conventional ideas and mind-sets. It drives innovation and creativity, allowing us to come up with new ideas and solutions.

In summary, the role of critical thinking is to help us think more deeply, rationally, and comprehensively so that we can better respond to challenges, make decisions, and achieve personal and professional goals.

People with critical thinking are calm and rational, and have great wisdom in life. They can see the essence of many things through phenomena, correctly judge the situations they face, have their own thinking and opinions, speak well-founded and to the point, and Intimate and unaffected by other people and the environment.

04 How to develop critical thinking?

First, discover and question the foundations.
Suppose a person who has passed down the most authentic Sichuan cuisine for eight generations and opens a restaurant in the United States will definitely have a chance to defeat those unauthentic Sichuan restaurants.
Is there something wrong with this sentence?
Critical thinkers will immediately see that this statement has a hidden basis: assuming that people like authentic things, can anyone not like authentic things?
A Nanjing native has loved eating duck blood vermicelli soup since he was a child. However, Nanjing’s authentic duck blood vermicelli soup is always defeated by unauthentic ones when it comes to other places.
He has always been puzzled.
Once, he suddenly realized this phenomenon when he talked with an investor in the catering industry.
The catering investor told him that some of what you call unauthentic are actually customized and optimized based on the eating habits of local people.
And what you think is authentic may just be your eating habits when you were a child, and has nothing to do with whether it tastes good or not.
Discovering and questioning underlying assumptions is the foundation of critical thinking.

Second, check for factual accuracy and logical consistency.
Three people were traveling to Scotland for the first time, and through a train window they saw a black sheep.
The first person exclaimed, look at the sheep in Scotland are all black!
Seeing a black sheep, it is impossible to deduce that all sheep in Scotland are black. This logic is flawed.
The second person said that was not correct. He could only say that at least one of the sheep in Scotland was black. This argument seemed to be logical.
But is the argument itself accurate for seeing a black sheep?
Not necessarily, since it actually only sees one side of the sheep.
The third person said that was not correct, and could only say that there was at least one sheep in Scotland with a black side.
This is a conclusion that is factually accurate and logically consistent.
Third, focus on special contexts and specific situations.
Suppose you are considering studying abroad and happen to have an alumnus who obtained an MBA degree from a university in the United States last year.
So you ask him, how is this university?
He said: This university is very good, the courses are very fulfilling, and the academic atmosphere is very open.
So you signed up for this university and found that the courses and learning atmosphere were not what you wanted. This was a completely mixed-degree school.
It turns out that this friend, whose family is very rich, is an idle second-generation rich man who doesn’t like studying at all. He went to study for an MBA abroad just to travel abroad and get a degree at the request of his parents.
And if you only listened to other people’s conclusions about “this school is very good” and went there without knowing any other information, you will be the only one who suffers the consequences.
Fourth, look for other possibilities.
A TV event where a child was interviewed and asked what he would do if a plane crashed with only a parachute.
The child replied that he would jump with a parachute on his back.
The audience burst into laughter, thinking that the child was ignorant and afraid of death.​
The child was frustrated and said he was going to find someone to save everyone, much to the shame of many adults.
This case tells us that we must not be 100% correct? Are there anyother possibilities? If so, how likely are these?
These are all things to consider.

05 Simple summary
Critical ThinkingCritical thinking refers to the ability to skillfully and impartially evaluate the quality of evidence and detect errors, falsehoods, falsifications, disguises, and biases.
It can help us obtain the most accurate knowledge possible and get closer to the truth.
How to do it specifically?
First, discover and question underlying assumptions.
Second, check for factual accuracy and logical consistency.
Third, focus on special contexts and specific situations.
Fourth, look for other possibilities.

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