Critical thinking is important in all areas of life and ages. No matter whether you are a student or an elder, you are susceptible to bias, entrenched opinions and false ads. The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed how rare and valuable critical thinking skill really is.
As a student you are just starting your life, however, there are many temptations and fake values which might lure you in the wrong direction. Here you will learn three main reasons to not just let it flow, but actually take effort to actively analyze and evaluate your life as a student.
It Helps Avoid FOMO
In today’s world of social media and colorful highlights it is hard not to view your life as dull and unappealing. Many people get painful sensations when they scroll down their newsfeed and see their friends having the time of their lives. This does not mean that you are a terrible envious person – it is only human to feel this way.
However, if you develop critical thinking, you will be able to see the ugly truth behind the colorful scenery. Let’s say you see a picture of your friend’s proposal. You may get jealous immediately, but hold on for a second and think how much you really know. Remember the story about a Dutch girl faking her vacation on Facebook? It can be the same here. I’m not talking that the proposal is fake – but what do you know about their actual relationship?
A proposal is just a highlight – you can never know what’s going on behind closed doors. Your friend may have an abusive or cheating partner, and unless you have the evidence that this is not the case – there is no reason to get all envious and frustrated.
It Helps Become Honest
If you are a scientist, you will most likely have to do tons of research. It has long been proven that scientists may skew their results to suit their hypothesis. However, if you think critically, you will be less tempted to do so.
Scientists are not some super humans exempt from bias and personal opinions. They are susceptible to very human faults which stem from their culture, upbringing and socialization. However, the moment you acknowledge this vulnerability, you become armed against it. Knowing that your personality may influence your conclusions is likely to make you more vigilant about the methods and reasoning your employ in your research. Thus, you are more likely to be an honest scientist and a better writer.
It Helps Preclude Disappointment
People who possess critical thinking skills are less likely to become attached to their theories. Thus, if they are proven wrong, they will accept it rather than argue or become disappointed in their life. When you think critically, you develop skepticism. You realize that what you think may be false – and it’s okay.
It is also okay not to know. Those who do not possess this crucial skill tend to think in false dichotomies. For instance, they will either believe in aliens or deny their existence. They leave no space for doubt or curiosity. It is either their way or the highway.
Students will critical thinking will not be ashamed of the fact that they do not know something. They will just politely inquire about your opinion – and then search for more info from other sources to formulate their own. In today’s world of information it is really important.
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