What is it???!!!

Definition:  the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

This judgment will determine both merits and faults.






Sure, I do that!





Oh, really?



Much of our thinking is biased, distorted, partial, uninformed, and prejudiced.

It leans toward over-generalization, common fallacies, self-deception, and narrowness.




Critical Thinking:  Does it Matter?





Confirmation Bias

when you search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms your pre-existing beliefs

but ignore or devalue information that contradicts our beliefs


We look for self-serving information to reinforce what we believe about anything.


Example:  You are a new college student.  You are bummed and call your mom and say "I don't fit in."  You tell her that you didn't make the top band, no one sat by you at lunch today and no one has asked you to hang out lately.  You neglected to tell her that very few freshmen make the top band, several fellow students sat by you yesterday, and two classmates seem to be great potential friends.

You neglected that info because it did not agree with how you feel today, overlooking any evidence that contradicts that belief.



Think of some examples where people ignore the other side of the coin . . . climate change?  gun control?









Confirmation bias is used to protect our beliefs.  We will absolutely ignore facts to protect our beliefs from harm.

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already;

but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.

 Leo Tolstoy



Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.  Aldous Huxley






  • Be skeptical - be aware of your and others' confirmation bias

  • Act like a detective - find the evidence (all of it/both sides)

  • Behave accordingly - act on the best clear and accurate results







There are many forms of Bias that interfere with Critical Thinking































What's the Difference?











Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson