Critical Thinking Litmus Test

How good at critical thinking are you? I think we’d all like to think of ourselves as independent thinkers, but the paradox of critical thinking is that the better you think you are at critical thinking, the worse you get at it. Being arrogant causes you to develop blind spots, and blind spots impair your reasoning.

A useful heuristic to find how good of a critical thinker you are is to think about any groups you identify with. This could be political groups, race identities, the people who share the same job as you, whatever. Think about the commonly held opinions in the groups. Then, think about what percent of these opinions you agree with. 75%? 90%? 100%?

Chances are, the higher the percentage, the less of a critical thinker you are. Thinking critically requires being able to discern the truth by looking past the opinions your tribes have. It’s impossible that every group has everything exactly right, and believing so shunts a rational process. Resisting becoming a pure product of your environment is necessary in becoming a critical thinker.

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