Thinking critically-session-1

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Oxford and Cambridge Interviews. MBA course in Critical Thinking.

Text of Thinking critically-session-1

  • 1. Thinking criticallyThe key to success in Oxford and Cambridge University interviewsSession 1

2. Transition from Learning to Thinking Watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTv4yD6BKlA Technique used in video called Misdirection Personal Development coaches also use the idea ofMisdirection to illustrate how our minds filter out informationthat might be important but we have been directed away from In school you are taught to absorb information and perform thetasks in the way the teacher expects In higher level education, you need to look at problems frommany different perspectives. This may lead you to change thevery question you have been given Most importantly, you need to be constantly aware of not beingmisdirected by a set of assumptions you either makeyourself .......or others wish you to make! This is where Critical Thinking comes in... 3. What is Critical Thinking? 4. What is Critical Thinking? Formal definition from National Council for Excellence inCritical Thinking at http://www.criticalthinking.org an intellectually disciplined process of actively and skilfullyconceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/orevaluating information gathered from, or generated by,observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication,as a guide to belief and action Oxford Dictionary definition The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to forma judgment 5. Simon's and my definition Treating all information, however received, with scepticismuntil such time as we understand the reliability of theprocesses, and the probable veracity of the people, uponwhich its supposed truth is based In other words Routinely and rigorously testing the consistency of all informationreceived with other reliable sources and everything else we know Relying on all information only as much as can be justified by theoutcome of the above processes Being sceptical....but never cynical! 6. Four lies and one truthNot necessarily in that order! There is an infinite number of places on the Earth where youcan walk north for a mile, then west for a mile, then south for amile, ending up in the same place Evolution produces creatures perfectly adapted to theirenvironment In a thunderstorm, you are always safer standing out in theopen than under a tree You should drink eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy Taking vitamin C helps you avoid catching a cold 7. And the true statement is... There is an infinitenumber of places on theEarth where you can walknorth for a mile, thenwest for a mile, thensouth for a mile, endingup in the same place! 8. What's wrong with the other statements? Evolution produces creatures perfectly adapted totheir environment? In a thunderstorm, you are always safer standingout in the open than under a tree? You should drink eight glasses of water a day tostay healthy? Taking vitamin C helps you avoid catching a cold? 9. Think about it... 10. Why is Critical Thinking so important? 11. Why is Critical Thinking so important? Because Progress towards a better world can only be made by constantlyseeking deeper truths and disseminating these more widely andeffectively In a world of constant change and global competition, yourcareers will inevitably depend on your ability to discover flaws inexisting information and new and deeper truths in order to deliverbenefit to others The top universities need to recruit and train the best thoughtleaders in order to maintain their reputation....they needoutstanding critical thinkers!Critical Thinking is based on rational and autonomousthought, which since the Age of Enlightenment startingin late 17th-century Europe, commands the highestrespect in Western civilisation 12. Critical thinking is also very important because thereis a huge amount of misinformation in the world!Why is this? 13. Misinformation is everywhere - Why? Most people are not experts. They have flawed understandings of the subjectsthey talk and write about Even the world's leading authorities disagree on many things - perfect truth isvery elusive Much information is just passed on uncritically by people with limited criticalthinking abilities Much truth is more complex and layered than simple representations mightsuggest e.g. "politicians cannot be trusted" is a gross oversimplification Lots of money to be made and power to be won in peddling misinformation Lots of people lie to cover their ass Even when they are not intentionally lying, many people prefer to blame othersfor the world's ills and for their own failures Fiction is often a lot more sensational than fact and can easily be made toappeal to prejudices, especially in conspiracy theories! 14. Of course the Media has a lot to answer for! 15. Let's test your critical thinking skills! A female patient with no symptoms of disease participates in a routinescreening. She tests positive, is alarmed, and wants to know whethershe has the disease for certain or if the test may have given a falseresult. She is 50 years old. Her doctor is aware of the following statistics The probability that any 50 year old woman has the disease is 1%("prevalence") If a woman has the disease, the probability that she tests positiveis 90% ("sensitivity") If a woman does not have the disease the probability that shenevertheless tests positive is 9% ("false alarm rate") The doctor tells her she has a 90% chance of having the disease. Ishe right? 16. Let's test your critical thinking skills! He is wrong! The correctanswer is 10%! Most of thepositive results are false forthis disease (breast cancer) This is because out of 1000women 98 will test positive butonly 9 of these will actuallyhave the disease. 89 are falsepositives. Therefore thechance of a true positive is 9 in89 or 1 in 10! 17. Let's test your critical thinking skills! This question is based on a real questionnaire givento a group of 160 practising gynaecologists in theUSA. In the experiment more than half of the specialistdoctors wrongly responded that the woman'schance of having cancer was 90%! Of course this is no reason to avoid medical testing.(A great deal more on this topic can be found bysearching on the BBC website under do doctorsunderstand) 18. Misinformation is one thing...... Disinformation is quite another Now let's get really scary...... And talk about........ 19. Misinformation is one thing...... Disinformation is quite another Now let's get really scary...... And talk about........The Arch-Manipulators!The really scary people responsiblefor most of the disinformation inthe world! 20. The Arch-ManipulatorsWho are they? 21. The Arch-Manipulators Governments Companies The Media The Intelligence Services Religious leaders (some) Corrupt and incompetent scientists Criminals/confidence tricksters Girlfriends and boyfriends Parents and teachers 22. Anyone else? 23. Anyone else?You and me! 24. You don't believe me? Need six Boards of Directors each comprising Chief Executive Finance Director Sales Director Chief Scientist 25. World Baby Foods Inc You are all members of the Board ofan international baby food company,World baby Foods inc 26. World Baby Foods Inc You are all members of the Boardof an international baby foodcompany, World Baby Foods Inc You have just been informed thatmajor new research has shown thatone of your main ingredients,Ingredient X, is probably a majorcause of ADHD (Attention deficithyperactivity disorder) in children 27. World Baby Foods Inc You are all members of the Boardof an international baby foodcompany, World Baby Foods Inc You have just been informed thatmajor new research has shownthat one of your main ingredients,Ingredient X, is probably a majorcause of ADHD (Attention deficithyperactivity disorder) in children It may already have caused over10,000 cases of it! 28. World Baby Foods Inc You are all members of the Boardof an international baby foodcompany, World Baby Foods Inc You have just been informed thatmajor new research has shownthat one of your main ingredients,Ingredient X, is probably a majorcause of ADHD (Attention deficithyperactivity disorder) in children It may already have caused over10,000 cases of it! A leading journalist from ainternational newspaper is going tocall you in 10 minutes to get yourreaction 29. World Baby Foods Inc You are all members of the Boardof an international baby foodcompany, World Baby Foods Inc You have just been informed thatmajor new research has shown thatone of your main ingredients,Ingredient X, is probably a majorcause of ADHD (Attention deficithyperactivity disorder) in children It may already have caused over10,000 cases of it! A leading journalist from ainternational newspaper is going tocall you in 10 minutes to get yourreaction What do you plan to say? 30. It gets worse! Your advertising agency advises you that ifyou admit there may be a problem, you willlose 3/4 of your market overnight becauseno parents want to take risks with theirbaby's food 31. It gets worse! Your advertising agency advises you that ifyou admit there may be a problem, you willlose 3/4 of your market overnight because noparents want to take risks with their baby'sfood Your finance director says this will mean youwill go bust within 3 months and everyonewill lose their jobs 32. It gets worse! Your advertising agency advises you that ifyou admit there may be a problem, you willlose 3/4 of your market overnight because noparents want to take risks with their baby'sfood Your finance director says this will mean youwill go bust within 3 months and everyonewill lose their jobs The new research into Ingredient X has beendone by a very reputable company 33. It gets worse! Your advertising agency advises you that ifyou admit there may be a problem, you willlose 3/4 of your market overnight because noone wants to take a risk with their baby's food Your finance director says this will mean youwill go bust within 3 months and everyonewill lose their jobs The ne