Thinking about thinking

Graham, Deborah (2011) Thinking about thinking. Issues, 95. pp. 8-11.

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[Extract) Unless we stop and think about thinking, critical thinking can be elusive.

Thinking about thinking is a form of metacognition. It requires effortful understanding of the thinking process and an ability to exert control over it.

When we think we often use heuristics, or a rule of thumb, to guide our conclusions. This of course means that there is no guarantee that our conclusions are correct. Conclusions may be drawn on the basis of impressions. These cognitive shortcuts allow for rapid processing of information, but they can also mislead and be inaccurate. Stereotypes are another example of classification according to salient features rather than factual elements.

Before these are discussed in more detail, a quick look at comprehension and evaluation is worthwhile. Comprehension can be taken for granted or people can be put off thinking about what is being said by jargon-heavy or disciplinespecific language. It is easy, though, to unpack information and identify exactly what is being communicated. This unpacking will ultimately result in a far better ability to evaluate information. Although this may seem selfevident, unless we are thinking about what we are thinking, and why we are thinking about an issue in a certain way, we may fall into effortless thinking that can lead to false conclusions.

Item ID: 17368
Item Type: Article (Short Note)
ISSN: 0819-8101
Keywords: thinking; critical thinking
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2011 02:14
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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