THINK Critically / Edition 2

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THINK Currency. THINK Relevancy. THINK Critically.

THINK Critically is a cutting-edge, self-reflective guide for improving critical thinking skills through careful analysis, reasoned inference, and thoughtful evaluation of contemporary culture and ideas.

An engaging visual design developed with extensive student feedback and 15-page chapters makes THINK Critically the textbook your students will actually read. It delivers the core concepts of critical thinking in a way they can easily understand. Additionally, engaging examples and masterful exercises help students learn to clarify ideas, analyze arguments, and evaluate reasoning.

A better teaching and learning experience
This program will provide a better teaching and learning experience—for you and your students. Here’s how:

  • Improve Critical Thinking – “Think Critically” exercises are positioned throughout each chapter to help students build skills.
  • Engage Students – In-text features include “Map It Out” sections, video clips, and Web-based multimedia examples.
  • Support Instructors – Four new optional chapters are available through the Pearson Custom Library, and a comprehensive supplements package is available to be packaged with this text.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205490981
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 2/6/2012
  • Series: MyThinkingLab Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 124,623
  • Product dimensions: 10.82 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

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Peter Facione, PhD, wants to help everyone build up their critical thinking skills, for their own sakes, and for the sake of our freedom and democracy. Facione draws on decades of experience as a teacher, consultant, business entrepreneur, university dean, grandfather, husband, and avid “old school” pickup basketball player. Now he is taking his message about the importance of critical thinking directly to students. For improving reasoning skills for use in one’s personal, professional, and civic life, there may never before have been a more practical, enjoyable, important, comprehensive, and engaging text than this.


“I’ve paid very close attention to the way people make decisions since I was 13 years old,” says Facione. “Some people were good at solving problems and making decisions; others were not. I have always felt driven to figure out how to tell which were which.” He says that this led him as an undergraduate and later as a professor to study psychology, philosophy, logic, statistics, and information systems as he searched for how our beliefs, values, thinking skills, and habits of mind connect with the decisions we make, particularly in contexts of risk and uncertainty.


“As a teacher and as a college administrator, I focused on problem-solving and decision-making strategies so that I could be a more effective teacher and a more capable leader. I found it was always valuable when working with groups or individuals to be mindful of how they applied their cognitive skills and habits of mind to solve a problem, make adecision, or troubleshoot a situation. Careful analysis and open-minded truth seeking always worked better than any other way of approaching problems.” 


A native Midwesterner, Facione earned his PhD in philosophy from Michigan State University and his BA in philosophy from Sacred Heart College in Detroit. He says, “Critical thinking has helped me be a better parent, citizen, manager, teacher, writer, and friend. It even helps a little when playing point guard!”


In academia, Facione served as provost of Loyola University—Chicago, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University, and dean of the School of Human Development and Community Service at California State University—Fullerton. “As a dean and provost, I could easily see that critical thinking was alive and well in every professional field and academic discipline.”


“I’ve focused my research on the teaching and measurement of critical thinking since my earliest years as a faculty member in the 1960s and 1970s. But before you can measure something that crosses into every aspect of life, you have to be sure that you understand what it is. So in the 1980s, I first had to see whether there was a consensus among experts about the term critical thinking. After two years of research, a solid consensus emerged. That plus all the stats and behavioral science research I had studied and taught for years enabled me and my research team, during the 1990s, to design and validate tools to assess critical thinking skills and habits of mind. In the first decade of this century, our team has explored the connections between critical thinking and human decision making in its broadest sense.”


In fact, Facione spearheaded the international study to define critical thinking, sponsored by the American Philosophical Association. His research formed the basis for numerous government policy studies about critical thinking in the workplace, including research sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Today, his tools for assessing reasoning are used around the world in educational, business, legal, military, and health sciences. 


Today, Peter operates his own business, Measured Reasons. He is a speaker, writer, workshop presenter, and consultant for organizations large and small. His work focuses on strategic planning and leadership decision making, in addition to teaching and assessing critical thinking. With his wife, who is also his closest research colleague and coauthor of many books and assessment tools, he now lives in sunny Los Angeles, which suits him just fine. He welcomes questions from students and instructors–you can reach him at


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Table of Contents

Found in this section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Power of Critical Thinking

Chapter 2 Skilled and Eager to Think

Chapter 3 Solve Problems and Succeed in College

Chapter 4 Clarify Ideas and Concepts

Chapter 5 Analyze Arguments and Diagram Decisions

Chapter 6 Evaluate the Credibility of Claims and Sources

Chapter 7 Evaluate Arguments: The Four Basic Tests

Chapter 8 Evaluate Deductive Reasoning and Spot Deductive Fallacies
Chapter 9 Evaluate Inductive Reasoning and Spot Inductive Fallacies

Chapter 10 Think Heuristically: Risks and Benefits of Snap Judgments

Chapter 11 Think Reflectively: Strategies for Decision Making

Chapter 12 Comparative Reasoning: Think “This Is Like That”

Chapter 13 Ideological Reasoning: Think “Top Down”

Chapter 14 Empirical Reasoning: Think “Bottom Up”

Chapter 15 Write Sound and Effective Arguments

Appendix Extend Argument-Decision Mapping Strategies


Supplemental Chapter A Think Like a Social Scientist

Supplemental Chapter B Think Like a Natural Scientist

Supplemental Chapter C Ethical Decision Making

Supplemental Chapter D The Logic of Declarative Statements


How the Book Is Organized
About the Authors

Chapter 1: The Power of Critical Thinking

Risk and Uncertainty Abound
Critical Thinking and a Free Society
The One and the Many
What Do We Mean by “Critical Thinking”?
Expert Consensus Conceptualization
“Critical Thinking” Does Not Mean “Negative Thinking”
How to Get the Most Out of This Book
Evaluating Critical Thinking
The Students’ Assignment—Kennedy Act
The Students’ Statements—Kennedy Act

The Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric

The Students’ Assignment—Haiti

The Students’ Statements—Haiti

Chapter Review

Chapter 2: Skilled and Eager to Think

Positive Critical Thinking Habits of Mind
The Spirit of Strong Critical Thinker
Positive and Negative Habits of Mind
Preliminary Self-Assessment
Research on Critical Thinking Habits of Mind
Seven Positive Critical Thinking Habits of Mind
Negative Habits of Mind
Is a Good Critical Thinker Automatically a Good Person?
Building Positive Habits of Mind
Core Critical Thinking Skills
Interpreting and Analyzing the Consensus Statement
The Jury Is Deliberating
Critical Thinking Skills Fire in Many Combinations
Strengthening Our Core Critical Thinking Skills
The Art of the Good Question
Skills and Subskills Defined
A First Look at Inductive and Deductive Reasoning
Nurses’ Health Study—Decades of Data
Inductive Reasoning
Cosmos vs. Chaos
Deductive Reasoning
How to Get The Most Out of This Book
Chapter Review

Chapter 3: Solve Problems and Succeed in College

Ideas: A 5-Step Critical Thinking Problem-Solving Process
Educating the Whole Person
Social Relationships
STEP 1: IDENTIFY the Problem and Set Priorities
STEP 1: IDENTIFY the Problem and Set Priorities
STEP 2: DEEPEN Understanding and Gather Relevant Information
The First Two IDEAS Steps in Maria’s Case
STEP 3: ENUMERATE Options and Anticipate Consequences
Health and Physical Well-being
The First Three Steps in Leah’s Case
STEP 4: ASSESS the Situation and Make a Preliminary Decision
Emotional Well-being
STEP 5: SCRUTINIZE Processes and Self-Correct As Needed
Spiritual Development
Chapter Review

Chapter 4: Clarify Ideas and Concepts

Interpretation, Context, and Purpose
How Precise Is Precise Enough?
Language and Thought
Vagueness: “Where Are the Boundaries, Does the Term Include This Case or Not?”
Problematic Vagueness
Ambiguity: “Which Sense of the Term Are We Using, Does It Mean This, or Does It Mean That?”
Problematic Ambiguity
Resolving Problematic Vagueness and Problematic Ambiguity
Clarifying Original Intent
Negotiating the Meaning
Using Qualifications, Exceptions, or Exclusions
Stipulating the Meaning
Your Language Communities
National and Global Language Communities
Language Communities Formed of People with Like Interests
Academic Disciplines as Language Communities
Critical Thinking and College Introductory Courses
Chapter Review

Chapter 5: Analyze Arguments and Diagram Decisions

Analyzing and Mapping Arguments
“Argument = (Reason + Claim)”
Two Reasons, Two Arguments
Two Confusions to Avoid
“Reason” and “Premise”
Distinguishing Reasons from Conclusion
Mapping Claims and Reasons
Mapping a Line of Reasoning
Mapping Implicit Ideas
Interpreting Unspoken Reasons and Claims in Context
Interpreting the Use of Irony, Humor, Sarcasm, and More
Giving Reasons and Making Arguments in Real Life
The El Train Argument
Huckabee and Stewart Discuss “The Pro-Life Issue—Abortion”
Analyzing and Mapping Decisions
“We Should Cancel the Spring Trip” #1
“We Should Cancel the Spring Trip” #2
Chapter Review

Chapter 6: Evaluate the Credibility of Claims and Sources

Assessing the Source—Whom Should I Trust?
Claims without Reasons
Cognitive Development and Healthy Skepticism
Authority and Expertise
Learned and Experienced
On-Topic, Up-to-Date, and Capable of Explaining
Unbiased and Truthful
Free of Conflicts of Interest, and Acting in the Client’s Interest
Unconstrained, Informed, and Mentally Stable
Twelve Characteristics of a Trustworthy Source
Assessing the Substance—What Should I Believe?
Donkey Dung Detector
Self-Contradictions and Tautologies
Marketing, Spin, Disinformation, and Propaganda
Slanted Language and Loaded Expressions
Independent Verification
Can the Claim Be Confirmed?
Can the Claim Be Disconfirmed?
Independent Investigation and the Q-Ray Bracelet Case
Suspending Judgment
Chapter Review

Chapter 7: Evaluate Arguments: The Four Basic Tests

Giving Reasons and Making Arguments
Logical Strength
The Four Tests for Evaluating Arguments
Test #1: Truthfulness of the Premises
Test #2: Logical Strength
Test #3: Relevance
Test #4: Non-Circularity
Contexts for Argument Making and Evaluative Terms
Common Reasoning Errors
Fallacies of Relevance
Appeals to Ignorance
Appeals to the Mob
Appeals to Emotion
Ad Hominem Attacks
Straw Man Fallacy
Playing with Words Fallacy
Misuse of Authority Fallacy
Chapter Review

Chapter 8: Evaluate Deductive Reasoning and Spot Deductive Fallacies

Deductive Validity and Language
Reasoning Deductively about Declarative Statements
Denying the Consequent
Affirming the Antecedent
Disjunctive Syllogism
Reasoning Deductively about Classes of Objects
Applying a Generalization
Applying an Exception
The Power of “Only”
Reasoning Deductively about Relationships
Transitivity, Reflexivity, and Identity
Fallacies Masquerading as Valid Deductive Arguments
Fallacies When Reasoning with Declarative Statements
Affirming the Consequent
Denying the Antecedent
Fallacies When Reasoning about Classes of Objects
False Classification
Fallacies of Composition and Division
Mistaken Identity
False Reference
Chapter Review

Chapter 9: Evaluate Inductive Reasoning and Spot Inductive Fallacies

Inductions and the Evidence at Hand
Evaluating Generalizations
Was the Correct Group Sampled?
Were the Data Obtained in an Effective Way?
Were Enough Cases Considered?
Was the Sample Representatively Structured?
Coincidences, Correlations, and Causes
Fallacies Masquerading as Strong Inductive Arguments
Erroneous Generalization
Playing with Numbers
False Dilemma
The Gambler’s Fallacy
False Cause
Slippery Slope
Chapter Review

Chapter 10: Think Heuristically: Risks and Benefits of Snap Judgments

Human Decision-Making Systems
The “Two-Systems” Approach to Human Decision Making
Reactive (System-1) Thinking
Reflective (System-2) Thinking
The Value of Each System
Heuristics: Their Benefits and Risks
Individual Cognitive Heuristics
1. Satisficing and 2. Temporizing
3. Affect: “Go with your Gut”
4. Simulation
5. Availability
6. Representation
7. Association
8. Stereotyping
9. “Us vs. Them”
10. Power Differential
11. Anchoring with Adjustment
12. Illusion of Control
13. Optimistic Bias and 14. Hindsight Bias
15. Elimination by Aspect: “One Strike and You’re Out”
16. Loss and Risk Aversion
17. “All or Nothing”
Heuristics in Action
Chapter Review

Chapter 11: Think Reflectively: Strategies for Decision Making

Dominance Structuring: A Fortress of Conviction
“I Would Definitely Go to the Doctor”
Explaining and Defending Ourselves
A Poorly Crafted Assignment
Moving from Decision to Action
Phase 1: Pre-editing
Phase 2: Identifying One Promising Option
Phase 3: Testing the Promising Option
Phase 4: Fortifying the To-Be-Chosen Option
Benefits and Risks of Dominance Structuring
The Classic “O. J. Defense” Example
Self-Regulation Critical Thinking Skill Strategies
Critical Thinking Precautions When Pre-Editing
Be Sure about “the Problem”
Specify the Decision-Critical Attributes
Be Clear about Why an Option Is In or Out
Critical Thinking Precautions When Identifying the Promising Option
Scrutinize Options with Disciplined Impartiality
Listen to Both Sides First
Critical Thinking Precautions When Testing the Promising Option
Use All the Essential Criteria
Treat Equals as Equals
Diligently Engage in Truth-Seeking and Remain Impartial
Critical Thinking Precautions When Fortifying the To-Be-Chosen Option
Be Honest with Yourself
Critical Thinking Strategies for Better Decision Making
Task Independent Teams with the Same Problem
Decide When It’s Time to Decide
Analyze Indicators and Make Mid-Course Corrections
Create a Culture of Respect for Critical Thinking
Chapter Review

Chapter 12: Comparative Reasoning: Think “This is Like That”

Comparative, Ideological, and Empirical Inferences
“This is Like That”—Recognizing Comparative Reasoning
Gardens of Comparatives
Powerful Comparisons Connect Intellect and Emotion
Evaluating Comparative Inferences
Do the Four Tests of Acceptability Apply?
Five Criteria for Evaluating Comparative Reasoning
Shaping Our View of the Universe for Two Thousand Years
The Many Uses of Comparative Inferences
Chapter Review

Chapter 13: Ideological Reasoning: Think “Top Down”

“Top Down” Thinking: Recognizing Ideological Reasoning
Examples of Ideological Reasoning
Three Features of Ideological Reasoning
Ideological Reasoning Is Deductive in Character
Ideological Premises Are Axiomatic
The Argument Maker Takes the Ideological Absolutes on Faith
Evaluating Ideological Reasoning
Are the Ideological Premises True?
Logical Strength and Ideological Belief Systems
Relevancy, Non-Circularity, and Ideological Reasoning
Uses, Benefits, and Risks of Ideological Reasoning
Chapter Review

Chapter 14: Empirical Reasoning: Think “Bottom Up”

Recognizing Empirical Reasoning
Characteristics of Empirical Reasoning
Empirical Reasoning Is Inductive
Empirical Reasoning Is Self-Corrective
Empirical Reasoning Is Open to Independent Verification
Hypotheses, Conditions, and Measureable Manifestations
Conducting an Investigation Scientifically
Perhaps the First Recorded Empirical Investigations
Steps in the Process of an Extended Example
Evaluating Empirical Reasoning
Benefits and Risks Associated with Empirical Reasoning
Chapter Review

Chapter 15: Write Sound and Effective Arguments

What Critical Thinking Questions Do Effective Writers Ask?
Think Author
Find Your Voice
Think about Who You Read
Think Audience
What Does the Audience Care About?
Writing For You
Who Is Your Audience?
Same Author and Audience, Different Purpose
Think Purpose and Circumstances
Think Tactics
Clues from Contextual Cues
Think How to Organize and Develop Your Presentation
Reach Out and Grab Someone
Crafting a Presentation
Good News: Writing Is Work
An Arguable Thesis Statement and Solid Research
Map Out the Arguments Pro and Con—Then Outline Your Case
Evaluating the Credibility of Sources
Prewriting, Writing, and Rewriting
Two Practical Tips
Evaluating Effectiveness
Features of Sound and Effective Written Argumentation
A Tool for Evaluating Critical Thinking and Writing
How to Apply the Rubric for Evaluating Written Argumentation
Chapter Review

Appendix Extend Argument-Decision Mapping Strategies

Mapping the Sequence of Arguments
Mapping Forms of Inference
Mapping Supporting Information
Mapping the Decision System
Less Is More
Schwarzenegger’s Denial of Clemency
Map Group Decision Making
Research Applications


Supplemental Chapter A: Think Like a Social Scientist

What Critical Thinking Questions Do Social Scientists Ask?
Thinking Like a Social Scientist

The Spirit of Scientific Inquiry Can Manifest Itself Early in Life

Think Participants
Think Situation
Think Actions
Think Motivation
Social Science Investigative Methods
Let the Question Drive the Investigatory Technique
Data Gathering Techniques
Practical and Logistical Challenges
Motivations and Temptations
The “I’m on Camera” Effect
Thinking About the Standards
No Simple Explanations of Complex Phenomena
Proceeding with Warranted Confidence
Statistical Analyses
Narrative Analyses
The Risks Inherent in All Human Judgments
Critical Thinking Self-Regulation
We Are What We Study
We Affect What We Study
Finding What Isn’t There and Not Finding What Is There
Integrating Findings
Thinking about Social Science in the Real World (Applications)
Example One: Business Administration
Example Two: Elementary Education
Chapter Review

Supplemental Chapter B: Think Like a Natural Scientist

What Critical Thinking Questions Do Natural Scientists Ask?
Thinking Like a Natural Scientist
Think Curious and Intriguing Natural Phenomenon
Think Empirically Testable Causal Explanation
Think How to Prevent and How to Bring About the Phenomenon
Think How to Integrate New Knowledge with Broader Scientific Understandings
Methods of Scientific Investigation
Let the Empirical Question Drive the Inquiry
Thinking About the Standards
Confidence in Scientific Findings
“True to a Scientific Certainty”
Finding What Isn’t There and Not Finding What Is There

Confidence in Scientific Theories
Thinking about Real-World Applications of Natural Science
Chapter Review

Supplemental Chapter C: Ethical Decision Making

Ethical Imperatives
Think Consequences
Think Duties
Think Virtues
Decision Making and Ethical Decision Making
Some Factors Affect Many Decisions
Reactive and Reflective Ethical Decision Making
Thinking Through Diverging Ethical Imperatives
Prioritize, Create, and Negotiate
Establish Priorities
Create Additional Options
Negotiate Based On Each Party’s Interests
Personal Consistency and Respect for Others
Apply the “Golden Rule”—Do Unto Others as You Would Have Others Do Unto You
Chapter Review

Supplemental Chapter D: The Logic of Declarative Statements

Part 1: Statements
Simple Statements
Statement Compounds: “And”, “Or”, “If, then,” etc.
Part 2: Translating Between Symbolic Logic and a Natural Language
Grammatically Correct Expressions
Translatiing to English
Translating to Symbolic Logic
Example: Translating a Telephone Tree
What the Telephone Tree Example Teaching About Translation
Part 3: Detecting the Logical Characteristics of Statements
Building Truth-Tables
Tautologies, Inconsistent Statements, and Contingent Statements
Testing for Implication and Equivalence
Part 4: Evaluating Arguments for Validity
Testing Symbolic Arguments for Validity
Testing Natural Language Arguments for Validity
Chapter Review

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