GEN499- Week 4- Discussion

Prepare: In preparation for discussing the importance of critical thinking skills, please read the following articles: Critical Thinking and the Challenges of Internet (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. and Common Misconceptions of Critical Thinking. You may also read other applicable sources found under the Week 4 Resources tab to gain a better understanding of what it takes to be a critical thinker. Write: For this discussion, you will address the following prompts. Keep in mind that the article or video you’ve chosen should not be about critical thinking, but should be about someone making a statement, claim, or argument related to your Final Paper topic. One source should demonstrate good critical thinking skills and the other source should demonstrate the lack or absence of critical thinking skills. Personal examples should not be used.

  • Explain at least five elements of critical thinking that you found in the reading material.
  • Search the Internet, media, or the Ashford University Library, and find an example in which good critical thinking skills are being demonstrated by the author or speaker. Summarize the content, and explain why you think it demonstrates good critical thinking skills.
  • Search the Internet, media, or the Ashford University Library, and find an example in which the author or speaker lacks good critical thinking skills. Summarize the content, and explain why you think it demonstrates the absence of good, critical thinking skills.

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Introduction: As medical college students, it is imperative to develop critical thinking skills in order to excel in the field of medicine. In this discussion, we will explore the importance of critical thinking skills by examining two sources – one demonstrating good critical thinking skills and the other lacking good critical thinking skills.


Five elements of critical thinking that I found in the reading material are:

1. Analyzing – the ability to break down an argument/claim/statement into its parts and evaluate them individually
2. Evaluating – the ability to assess the credibility and reliability of sources/claims/arguments
3. Inference – the ability to draw logical conclusions from the information presented
4. Objectivity – the ability to approach a topic without bias or personal opinions
5. Curiosity – the ability to ask questions and seek additional information in order to gain further insight

A source that demonstrates good critical thinking skills is an article by The New York Times titled, “Why We Need to Take the Risks of Psychedelic Therapy Seriously.” The author presents research, expert opinions, and personal testimonials to argue that psychedelic drugs can have therapeutic benefits for mental health disorders. The author evaluates the credibility of studies and experts cited and acknowledges potential risks and limitations of the therapy. The author also considers counterarguments and potential ethical concerns. This article demonstrates good critical thinking skills by analyzing, evaluating, inferring, being objective, and being curious.

A source that lacks good critical thinking skills is a tweet by a celebrity claiming that vaccines cause autism. The tweet reads, “I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – I’m not against vaccinations, I’m against vaccination’s [sic] that are not safe for your child.” This statement lacks critical thinking skills as it lacks reliable and credible sources, and does not consider the overwhelming scientific consensus that vaccines do not cause autism. This example demonstrates the absence of good, critical thinking skills by not analyzing, not evaluating, not inferring, being biased, and not being curious.

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