LOGICAL THINKING – CEOWORLD magazine
Although human thought is often based on emotion, the ability to use reason is often seen as one of the characteristics of being human. When we reason, we are applying logic to determine whether B follows A. Logical thinking – that is, checking the components of an argument or discussion and making connections between them – is the strategy called ” reasoning ”.
In the reasoning process, there are four main steps involved:
- To ask questions
- Data organization
- Information evaluation
- To draw conclusions
A logical thinker should ask many questions rather than immediately jumping to conclusions. Because some people may take offense to being asked questions if they feel like they are being questioned or being cross-examined, it is important to ask the questions the right way.
The first question of a logical thinker should be: “What are the premises of this argument?” If we are confused about the premise of what we hear or read, we might make mistakes later in the reasoning process.
As part of understanding the premise, we need to ask ourselves, “Is any information missing?” No real conclusion can be drawn if the key points of an argument are accepted.
In the paradigm of logical thinking, syllogism means to use two or more premises to draw a valid conclusion.
Once we’ve mastered that first step of asking the right questions, we end up with answers – that is, feedback or data. We organize the data, which is the second step in the logical thinking process. This collection of data to arrive at a hypothesis is called inductive reasoning, as opposed to using prior knowledge to come to a logically certain conclusion, which is called deductive reasoning.
Organizing information is making connections. This is done by breaking down the data into manageable pieces. We can use linear order to infer ordered relationships in the data. It is often helpful to schematize the premise and all the data, which makes it visual.
In real life, such as in casual conversation, for example, this visualization should be practiced until it becomes a natural skill.
When using observation to make hypotheses and draw evidence, the logical thinker must be careful not to draw more conclusions than is implied – that is, we must avoid the tendency to interpret more than what the sender suggests. We need to make decisions based solely on what the data says.
Once organized, we evaluate the data to distinguish whether a statement is a made or one value. The logical thinker must determine whether the information is valid or not. People often find it difficult to separate what is valid from what is true because of ingrained beliefs we all have. Belief bias occurs when our individual belief system interferes with our ability to think logically.
In addition, we must be careful to identify our underlying assumptions or we risk the confirmation of bias, which is the tendency to use information to support our existing positions. This bias prevents us from making a solid decision.
Finally, when the data has been collected, organized and evaluated, we can draw conclusions. Probability can help us determine if a conclusion is probable or if it is wrong. Using if-then instructions, or contingency statements, can help: “If this is true, then the consequence will also be true.” “
As a concrete example, consider the subject of vaccination. When we listen to an argument for or against a vaccination policy, we ask, “Who do I believe and who do not believe when it comes to the safety and effectiveness of vaccines?” “Do I have all the information – what statistics are involved?” “” Did I receive incorrect data – who provided the statistics? Who did the research? “” Do I have a pre-existing prejudice on this subject or am I sufficiently open to the facts? “
It is a critical time in our history to use reason. We need to make good use of logical thinking.
CRITICAL THINKING SERIES: In this brand new series of articles, CEO and bestselling author Dr. Jim White provides insight into how critical thinking can directly lead to greater success in business and beyond. The first part presents the components of critical thinking.
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