On the evening of May 12, 2020, Dr. Jim White, PhD introduced a new theme to his weekly webinar series.
Tuesday’s episode revolved around the topic of critical thinking and how it relates to people as we head to polls in November, as unemployment in the United States rises, and how it affects our business and leadership teams. An increasingly essential topic, White revealed that he will be releasing 12 critical thinking sessions between now and September.
White began his lecture with a brief overview of critical thinking. “We live in a knowledge based society,” he began, “critical thinking provides you with the skills to analyze information so that you are able to obtain the greatest amount of knowledge, it provides the best chances of making the right decision.” White continued, saying that critical thinking will lead people to become more rational and disciplined thinkers. Critical thinking also reduces prejudice, which will provide thinkers with a better understanding of their environments.
In his critical thinking sessions, White seeks to provide viewers with the skills to evaluate, identify, and distinguish between information that is real and information that is not real. In doing so, White states that this will lead you to be more productive in your career and provide you with skills in everyday life to help make decisions. White’s objectives for the series are as follows:
1. Understand the components of critical thinking
2. Utilize non-linear thinking
3. Use logical thinking
4. Recognize what it means to be a critical thinker
5. Evaluate information using critical thinking skills
6. Identify the benefits of critical thinking
7. Revise respective when necessary
8. Comprehend problem solving abilities
“Critical thinking will lead people to become more rational and disciplined thinkers.”
As White delved deeper into the topic of critical thinking, he revealed that critical thinking is akin to the study of logic. “The ability to reason is often considered one of the characteristics of being human,” White told his viewers on Tuesday. He continued, adding that when we apply reasoning, we use logic to determine what follows what, though human reasoning does not always follow logic and is often based on emotions. White detailed the six major terms associated with reasoning:
1. Syllogism: two or more premises to derive a valid conclusion
2. Linear Ordering: interference of orderly relationships among a single dimension
3. Probability: uses information to determine if the conclusion is probable or untrue
4. If -Then Statements: use contingency statements that is true, then the consequence will also be true
5. Deductive Reasoning: when we use prior knowledge of one or more statements to reach a logically certain conclusion
6. Inductive Reasoning: gathering data or making observations that lead to a hypothesis or conclusion
White also touched on the value of open mindedness.“Open mindedness is the virtue by which we learn,” he noted. White also recognized that having an open mind is easier said than done due to the built in biases we already have that prevent us from learning. He cautioned viewers against allowing pre-conceived notions that can constrain or inhibit reflections on newly presented information. Concerned about the millions of Americans that have applied for unemployment benefits, the upcoming presidential election, and the direction of our political structure, White urged listeners to utilize critical thinking. As he ended his lecture Tuesday, White encouraged listeners to analyze and ask themselves the following questions when making a critical decision:
1. Is it good for my country?
2. Is it good for my family?
3. Is it good for my career?
4. Is it good for my business?
Dr. White is hosting his regular Webinar Series. His next webinar goes live on May 19th at 6:30 PM EST. The topic of the webinar is “Critical Thinking – During and Post COVID-19, Part II.” Dr. White’s objective is to teach you the skills to evaluate, identify, and distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information. It will lead you to be more productive in your career, and provide a great skill in your everyday life during and post COVID-19.