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Book Review: When Good Thinking Goes Bad

By Sandy Amazeen Jan 24, 2009, 20:48 GMT

Book Review: When Good Thinking Goes Bad

In 1975, the Environmental Fund sponsored a full-page advertisement in leading newspapers, which predicted that "the world as we know it will likely be ruined before the year 2,000," due to the assumed inability of world food production to keep pace with the increase in population. The statement was endorsed by some of the finest thinkers of the time--scientists, scholars, ...more

Using Clever Hans, the paranormal, global warming and the economy to name a few, Riniolo makes the case for informed critical thinking. At the heart of critical thinking is an evidence-demanding attitude that seeks accurate, verifiable information for sound decision making. The book is divided into three sections beginning with what makes a critical thinker. The second part examines our evolutionary heritage including pattern recognition that predisposes us to rely on emotional responses during our decision making process. Lastly, current events are used to expose glaring inconsistencies in critical thinking.

Riniolo points out the pitfalls using of intuition or emotion in our decision making processes along with advice on how to evaluate information in order to draw sound conclusions. Keeping in mind that people tend to see what they expect to see, Riniolo touches upon how the mind can be easily tricked and provides tips on how to avoid being deceived by our preconceived notions. After a detailed analysis into the importance of critical thinking, Riniolo goes on to examine how to apply it to multicultural claims, politics, the economy and even Santa Claus to name a few. Entertaining, relevant and essential reading for anyone interested in furthering their ability to think for themselves and form their own conclusions.

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