Goal 3. Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology - Students will respect
and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and, when possible,
the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental
Suggested Learning Outcomes - Students will be able to:
3.1 Use critical thinking effectively.
a. Evaluate the quality of information, including differentiating empirical evidence from speculation and the probable from the improbable
b. Identify and evaluate the source, context, and credibility of information
c. Recognize and defend against common fallacies in thinking
d. Avoid being swayed by appeals to emotion or authority
e. Evaluate popular media reports of psychological research
f. Demonstrate an attitude of critical thinking that includes persistence, open-mindedness, tolerance for ambiguity and intellectual engagement
g. Make linkages or connections between diverse facts, theories, and observations
3.2 Engage in creative thinking.
a. Intentionally pursue unusual approaches to problems
b. Recognize and encourage creative thinking and behaviors in others
c. Evaluate new ideas with an open but critical mind
3.3 Use reasoning to recognize, develop, defend, and criticize arguments and other persuasive appeals.
a. Identify components of arguments (e.g., conclusions, premises/assumptions, gaps, counterarguments)
b. Distinguish among assumptions, emotional appeals, speculations, and defensible evidence
c. Weigh support for conclusions to determine how well reasons support conclusions
d. Identify weak, contradictory, and inappropriate assertions
e. Develop sound arguments based on reasoning and evidence
3.4 Approach problems effectively.
a. Recognize ill-defined and well-defined problems
b. Articulate problems clearly
c. Generate multiple possible goals and solutions
d. Evaluate the quality of solutions and revise as needed
e. Select and carry out the best solution