View one of the following movies : Dead Poets Society
, Twelve Angry Men, Wall Street, or 19 Days in September
View the movie and write a paper applying the SEVEN BLOCKS to CRITICAL THINKING to the characters in the movie that failed to think critically because of that PARTICULAR BLOCK. Provide (1) the ?block? heading, (2) a brief definition of the block (using key words and underling as in the example below) and (3) one example from the movie for EACH of the Seven Blocks to Critical Thinking.
Cultural Conditioning Block
Definition: Cultural Conditioning becomes a block when one blindly accepts (keywords) the values and beliefs of one?s culture, never questioning, never realizing the belief is wrong.
Example: Cultural conditioning kept many of the Alabama citizens from recognizing that black people and women were being treated wrongly. Neither group had equal rights with white males. Women could not serve on a jury. Black people were denied equal opportunities for work, education, etc.
SEVEN BLOCKS TO CRITICAL THINKING
1. CULTURAL CONDITIONING
Cultural conditioning refers to the process by which society
's attitudes and values are passed on to its members.
What's the connection between cultural assumptions and critical thinking? Very simply, blindly accepting such assumptions lead to selective perception -- to seeing only what we want to see. But critical thinking requires objectivity, a dispassionate and impartial examination of the evidence that confines a position. When I critically think, I must try to put aside my preconceptions and biases about an issue. While none of us can ever be completely objective, we can be impartial enough to allow our views to conform to the evidence instead of the evidence conform to our views. There may be good reasons for holding any cultural assumption.
2. RELIANCE ON AUTHORITY
Authority is an expert outside ourselves. But there is danger.
We can so rely on authority that we stop thinking for ourselves. When dealing with a controversial issue, we might find out what the majority thinks and, looking no further, adopt the same position. Following authority is a block to critical thinking as well as an evasion of autonomy.
3. HASTY MORAL JUDGMENT
A moral judgment is an evaluation of someone or something or someone Often we make such judgments hastily. For example, we judge people on the basis of their looks, background, or associations. Because hasty moral judgments are essentially non rational- that is, unreasoned- they blunt the goals of critical thinking: insight and understanding.
4. BLACK AND WHITE THINKING
Black and white thinking refers to the tendency to place things in either/ or categories, ignoring the complexity of an issue. Here are some expressions of black and white thinking:
You are either for or against me.
There is only one right way to do things.
America -- love it or leave it.
Gun's don't kill people, people do.
Labels are essential for communication. They make it possible for us to communicate a complex situation a piece at a time. Besides causing us to overlook individual differences, labels encourage polarization.
6. RESISTANCE TO CHANGE
A big block to thinking effectively is -the tendency to cling to preconceived notions, to set ways of viewing and doing things. A second danger signal is "primary certitude" which refers, to an immediate, strong, emotional feeling about something.
7. FRAME OF REFERENCE
All of us have a tendency to see ourselves and the world according to our own frame of reference; that is, we rely upon our organized body of accumulated knowledge and experience we rely on to interpret new experiences and guide our behavior. This frame of reference limits our perception. Perception refers to the process by which we give meaning to sensory stimuli. We see light waves, but perceive airplanes, houses, trees, hear sound waves, but we perceive a symphony.
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