Identify two barriers that influence your critical thinking.
Include barriers listed in Thinking: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Critical and Creative Thought, Ch. 2
Write 100 to 150 words for each barrier, describing them and how you can overcome them. Total word count will be 200 to 300 words.
Format your assignment consistent with APA guidelines. Use the APA Essay Template and HUM/115 In-Text Citation and Reference Examples to assist you with APA.
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THINKING ACTIVITY 2.5 Five Thinking Errors
The five thinking errors below range in severity and frequency and can be found in all of us from time to time. They are particularly likely to appear in times of emotional strain. As you read them, think about instances in which these thinking errors have distorted your thinking, and how these errors have affected your significant others.
- 1. Personalization: egocentric thinking in which the world is seen to revolve unduly around the individual. A person might take responsibility for a disappointing picnic at the lake by saying, “I should have known it would probably rain today; it rains a lot in May. I should have waited until June.” Or upon walking by a woman in a store with an angry look on her face, a person wonders, “Why is she mad at me? What did I do?”
- 2. Polarized thinking: also called “black and white thinking” or “dichotomous thinking,” categorizing complexities into one extreme or the other (later we examine it as the “either/or fallacy”). For example, a depressed person may see himself only in a negative light and fail to see the good characteristics he has. Or if a person is not extremely successful, she might consider herself a loser. A man might say, “People either like me, or they hate me,” not realizing that people can also have mixed feelings about him. A person with a borderline personality disorder often sees people as either all good or all bad. Politics is often riddled with this kind of thinking when we assess the merits of a bill, candidate, or foreign policy.
- 3. Overgeneralization: drawing broad conclusions on the basis of a single incident. A student fails one course at college and then believes she is a failure and will not be able to earn her degree. Or after receiving a reprimand duly or unduly deserved, a person thinks, “Everyone hates me.” Or after his girlfriend breaks up with him, a man thinks, “I’m never going to find someone who will love me.”
- 4. Catastrophizing: a common characteristic of anxious people in which they consider the worst possible outcome of an event. A young man announces to his mother that he is getting married, and she immediately thinks about the likelihood of a deformed baby or even a divorce in his future. A young woman going out on a blind date expects it to be a real disappointment. Or a father, upon hearing that his son intends to major in philosophy, imagines his son permanently unemployed and expects him to be a constant financial burden.
- 5. Selective abstraction: focusing on one detail of a situation and ignoring the larger picture. For example, an instructor receives a very favorable evaluation from 90 percent of her students but dwells instead on the unfavorable comments from the few. Or a football player, after an overall excellent performance, curses himself for the one pass that he should have caught (Beck, 1976).
When you are through reading, think on these questions….
- What are some of your biggest barriers?
- Do you ever struggle with anger, depression, or stress? How do these affect your thinking?
- How might you better control things like anger, depression, or stress?
- What barrier, to you, was your worst enemy, and what can you do to overcome it?
- Why is it so important to overcome these barriers?
- What happens when you refuse to recognize these barriers?