Mon, 9 December 2019
Welcome to another episode of The Social-Engineer Podcast! Host, Christopher Hadnagy, interviews Christopher Dwyer, on this 124th episode. Dr. Dwyer is a psychologist who has been researching critical thinking and cognitive energy throughout his career, including what it means to be a critical thinker. He started his PhD by researching argument mapping, focusing on the structure of arguments and the effect of it on memory performance.
Chris asks Dr. Dwyer how he would define critical thinking. For Dr. Dwyer, the term refers to purposeful, self-regulatory reflective judgment reliant on a number of skills in order to produce a valid conclusion to an argument or a solution to a problem. Dr. Dwyer explains how the term has come to have different meanings across the industry - but the main idea has been that core skills and core dispositions make up critical thinking. Dr. Dwyer is interested in how to enhance people’s critical thinking skills; however, he has found that it is very dependent on context and circumstances. He shares an example of this, comparing findings about critical thinking of traditional students and adult-learning course students. The mature students had worse critical thinking at the beginning of a class yet they improved more than traditional students over time.
Towards the end of the episode, Chris and Dr. Dwyer discuss how humans hate to be wrong, but love to be right. Dr. Dwyer says that this is due to risk aversion - we do not enjoy the things that are detrimental to us and we fear being found wanting. However, it is important to not let our fear stop us from critically thinking well.