Critical Reasoning Week 5 Discussion 2

Critical Reasoning Week 5 Discussion 2

Critical Reasoning Week 5 Discussion 2

Required Resources Read/review the following resources for this activity:

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Initial Post Instructions Consider one of the following current social issues – or one of your choice:

For the initial post, address the following:

The initial post is not about how “correct” your position is; it is about how you arrived at your position on the issue. This discussion requires application of metacognition – thinking about how you think.

Follow-Up Post Instructions

Textbook: Chapter 10, 11 Lesson Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)

Opioid crisis Legalization of recreational or medical marijuana Vaping Immigration Elimination of the electoral college Gun control

State your position on one of these issues – are you for, against, or neutral? Explain why. Avoid vagueness or ambiguity in your response. Make your position very clear. Examine how you have formed that opinion.

How well do you think you know the facts? Do you know and understand statistical information that applies to the issue? Do you think you have formed your opinion using only System-1 thinking, or have you applied System-2? What part have heuristics, cognitive bias, and dominance structuring played in how you have formed your opinions?

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Respond to at least two peers or one peer and the instructor. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification.

In your responses, look for another student’s post, either on the same or a different issue. Choose, where possible, a peer whose initial post has not yet been examined by another student, and examine it. Do you agree or disagree with your peer?

You should also look at responses to your initial post:

You may find that just the minimum three posts are not sufficient to discover whether you can identify these elements. You will have to make a judgement call: do the minimum three and miss out on the deep thinking required by this exercise, or go beyond the minimum three and really begin to understand your thought processes and the concept of critical thinking.

A very valuable final post would be to discuss your judgment call: perhaps you “got it” in three; perhaps you opted for more than three; perhaps other demands on your time did not allow you to exercise as much deep thinking as you would have liked to do. Perhaps you did not see much value in the discussion – a very valuable final post would be a brief statement of why you found it so. Do not be shy about critiquing the exercise. Look at “A Poorly Crafted Assignment” in section 11.1 of the text in which the authors critique a similar assignment. Critical Reasoning Week 5 Discussion 2

Writing Requirements

Grading This activity will be graded using the Discussion Grading Rubric. Please review the following link:

Course Outcomes (CO): 2, 4, 5, 6

Due Date for Initial Post: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Wednesday

Is your initial reaction to your peer “So, right; you bet!” or is it “So wrong, you’re all wet!” Examine carefully your thinking in response to your peers:

What part, if any, have facts, heuristics, or dominance structuring played in your response? What part, if any, has cognitive bias played in your response?

Did your peer fairly evaluate you? Discuss this with your peer.

Minimum of 3 posts (1 initial & 2 follow-up) Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside source) APA format for in-text citations and list of references

Link (webpage): Discussion Guidelines

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Search entries or author

” Reply

Due Date for Follow-Up Posts: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday

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( Sheffield (Instructor) Jun 22, 2020


Greetings Students,

You are only required to post an initial answer post and ONE follow-up post in each required discussion, each week.

Please make your TWO posts each week between Monday and Sunday. Your posts must occur on different days with the first post occurring by Wednesday. If there are extenuating circumstances, please communicate with your professor.

Systems Thinking is a new term for many individuals. There are many ways of thinking and this comes as a surprise to some people. This is because our previous training and experience often locks us into a particular way of thinking about a situation.

It is very useful to have different tools of thought in order to set about thinking about the situation, exploring new angles, trying out different boundaries and generating a more rounded appreciation of the situation, however complicated, familiar or unusual. A very important part of this ability to explore and value others’ points of view, trying out their perspectives and incorporating their insights. All these features characterize systems thinking.

Two points about these ways of thinking are worth mentioning. First, they are the basis for genuine intellectual skills; second, some of them may initially appear strange and feel decidedly awkward. Others you will find, more naturally. Which ones proved easy or difficult will depend on your existing patterns of thought. This means that you will not be able to decide how useful a particular tool will be until you have acquired a reasonable measure of proficiency and tried it on some actual problems. Which tools work for you will also depend on the sorts of problem you encounter.

Systems thinking is useful for investigating complex situations. It involves a holistic approach that looks at the behavior of wholes, and the many interconnections between the components, Critical Reasoning Week 5 Discussion 2



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Edited by Sonja Sheffield ( on Jun 22 at 12:39pm

using a variety of methods. Some of these methods are systematic and orderly but in general systematic thinking is more prevalent where situations are broken down into parts and mostly simple, linear cause and effect relationships examined.

Let’s consider cognitive biases. By utilizing critical thinking and understanding cognitive biases, you will be able to form an argument.

At this point you have learned a lot about how to think critically. Now you should be able to write critically. When you are writing critically, you will be able to word your thoughts better, and your paragraphs will be more useful – it won’t just be about word count anymore, but the word counts will be met regardless.

Consider the following series of questions to ask yourself.

We already learned about how to determine whether an argument is valid, but you also need to be able to defend your arguments with premises and supporting details. If you cannot do this, your point of view will be easy to poke holes in and will collapse like a house of cards.

Think about your responses to some of the above when you start preparing your essay.


e-Book – Lovell, S. (2018) How to improve your critical thinking skills.

Is your idea/argument a good or bad one? Is my argument valid and defensible? Is it the opposite?

It is my position on the issue rational and reasonable? Do I deal with the complexity of the situation or do I only utilize clichés and stereotypes to make my point? Do I touch deeper points, or do I only scraped the surface when talking about my topic? Do I address the other points of view properly? Do I question my own ideas and test them for validity? Do I have specific goals in mind with this writing? Is the purpose of my writing clear and easily found? What questions does this essay answer? What questions are explored? From what perspective is my argument? Where did I get my information? Are the sources valid? Was the information consistent in all of my sources? What concepts are central in my line of thinking? What conclusions am I making? What premises do I include? Am I making any assumptions? Are these assumptions that I should be making?

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” Reply &


Ashlyn Nichols ( Monday


Hello Everyone,

I decided to select the issue gun control. Gun control is a touchy topic within the United States. I am against stricter gun laws within the United States. I grew up in the country with a father that always carried a registered firearm everywhere he went. Personally it made me feel safe when entering a bad neighborhood or new area we haven’t visited before. I am against stricter gun laws mainly for a couple reasons. With establishing these laws the people following them are already law abiding citizens, and the ones that will continue to do what they please are the individuals causing crime and harm in the community. Secondly, “gun control laws infringe upon the right to self-defense and deny people a sense of safety” (Pros & Cons, 2020). Without citizens having a sense of safety it could alter individuals well being and their willingness to go out in public. Lastly I believe more gun control is not needed; education about guns and gun safety is needed to prevent accidental gun deaths in the United States (Pros & Cons, 2020). I feel that I am fairly educated on the topic but definitely could use more information regarding the pros and cons on stricter gun control laws. I feel as if my opinion is biased because I was raised in a family that was against stricter gun laws. When researching statistics on gun control there is a lot of data collected on this issue. Yes, I do understand the statistical side of this issue. For example, “Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world and yet, in 2012, Mexico had 11,309 gun murders (9.97 gun homicides per 100,000 people) compared to the United States that had 9,146 gun homicides (2.97 per 100,000 people)” (Pros & Cons, 2020). I believe these statistics are very informing and easy to understand and comprehend. I believe I have formed my opinion based on system-1 thinking because it was unconscious and quick, it took little to no effort for me to form this opinion. Critical Reasoning Week 5 Discussion 2


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