Try your hand at using critical thinking to resolve these problems.
Assess your ability to identify the problem
1. A study reveals a strong correlation between the number of psychology courses students take and higher scores on a measure of interpersonal sensitivity. Using critical thinking, what can you conclude from this?
2. Is this a valid argument?
All cats are animals.
All animals are loud.
So, all cats are loud.1
3. Is this a sound argument?
If my astrologer is clairvoyant, then she predicted my travel plans correctly.
She predicted my travel plans correctly.
So, my astrologer is clairvoyant.2
4. If there are 5 apples on the counter and you take away 2, how many do you have?3
Assess your ability to avoid bias
1. Do they have a fourth of July in England?
2. Imagine that the U.S. is preparing for the outbreak of an unusual disease, which is expected to kill 600 people. Two alternative programs to combat the disease have been proposed. Assume the exact scientific estimate of the consequences of the programs are as follows.4
Which would you choose?
Program A: 200 people will be saved
Program B: there is a one-third probability that 600 people will be saved, and a two-thirds probability that no people will be saved
What about between these programs?
Program C: "400 people will die"
Program D: "there is a one-third probability that nobody will die, and a two-third probability that 600 people will die"
3. Johnny's mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child's name?6
4. How can a woman living in New Jersey legally marry 3 men, without ever getting a divorce, being widowed, or becoming legally separated?7
5. There are 4 cards. Each card has a letter on one side and a number on the other side. Which card(s) must you turn over to determine whether the following statement is false?
If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other side.
Assess your ability to prioritize solutions
Using critical thinking skills, determine the most probable intent of the following statements.
1. Visiting relatives can be boring.
A. The relatives who are visiting are boring.
B. It is boring to visit relatives.
2. The policemen were told to stop drinking at midnight.
A. At midnight, the policemen were told to stop drinking.
B. The police must stop drinking at midnight.
3. I wrote a story about an encounter I had with a raccoon early in the morning.
A. I wrote a raccoon encounter story early in the morning.
B. I wrote a story about an early morning raccoon encounter.
4. A man is found hanging in a room 30 feet off the ground. There is nothing else in the room except for a large puddle of water on the ground. The police can't see any way the man could have climbed the walls to get to where he is hanging.
How did this man hang himself?9