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When good thinking goes bad : how your brain can have a mind of its own

Author: Todd C Riniolo
Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2008.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"In this analysis of the mental pitfalls that trip up even elite critical thinkers, psychologist Todd C. Riniolo argues that under certain circumstances everyone is vulnerable to erroneous beliefs. Riniolo begins by reviewing the hallmarks of critical thinking related to the evaluation of claims, such as the double-blind procedure and the law of parsimony. He then describes the psychology behind why inconsistent use  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Todd C Riniolo
ISBN: 9781591025863 1591025869
OCLC Number: 173243839
Description: 236 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: Some hallmarks of critically evaluating claims --
Critical thinking in everyday life : what's your evidence? --
Experts : benefits and limitations --
Research methods : the double-blind procedure, the placebo effect, and the law of parsimony --
Why strange coincidences are normal, and why the critical thinker is wary of second hand sources --
The evolution of inconsistent critical thinking --
The pros and cons of our evolutionary heritage --
Humans : the great pattern-seekers --
The interconnectedness of our pattern-seeking heritage with a biased cognitive system --
The role of emotions in belief maintenance --
Case examples : an ordinary critical thinker and a brilliant mind --
Examples of inconsistent critical thinking : the influence of our beliefs --
Global warming and psychic claims : a comparison --
Politics and inconsistent critical thinking --
Multicultural claims: are skeptic's sexist and racist? --
Economists and skeptics : birds of a feather? --
Does Santa Claus undermine critical thinking? : no, no, no.
Responsibility: Todd C. Riniolo.
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Abstract:

"In this analysis of the mental pitfalls that trip up even elite critical thinkers, psychologist Todd C. Riniolo argues that under certain circumstances everyone is vulnerable to erroneous beliefs. Riniolo begins by reviewing the hallmarks of critical thinking related to the evaluation of claims, such as the double-blind procedure and the law of parsimony. He then describes the psychology behind why inconsistent use of critical thinking is part of our evolutionary heritage and why each of us possesses mental biases that make us prone to maintaining our current beliefs even in the face of solid evidence to the contrary. He concludes by focusing on a wide range of claims - environmental, political, economic, multicultural - to illustrate how in certain contexts we all are tempted to abandon critical thinking."--Jacket.

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