Home > Resources > Biases, Fallacies, & Critical Thinking Information Resources

Biases, Fallacies, & Critical Thinking Information Resources

To improve your understanding of any topic, you need to identify your own biases and fallacies in arguments.

By doing so, your overall critical thinking skills will improve, and your ability to effectively apply sociological concepts will increase.

Bias

Everyone is biased. Biases affect decisions we make every day.

We are socialized and enculturated to think in certain ways. Our place (locality) and time (temporality) determine our beliefs, norms, and values, which creates and sustains our biases.

Our biases are regularly manipulated by the media and governments to sway opinions.

Whilst bias cannot be eliminated, its impact can be limited. By identifying common biases, we can change ourselves and improve our understanding of the world.

There are many identified and researched cognitive biases. It is not necessary to become an expert in identifying them all.

YourBias.is has free PDF posters and flashcards to help you learn to recognize biases. Start with these biases:

Additional Information

Fallacies

A fallacy is (basically) a flaw in reasoning.

Fallacies can be intentional or unintentional. Politicians and the media can use fallacies to manipulate the public. Manipulation through intentional fallacies (and biases) is easy to do and a long-established form of propaganda and social control. Often students use unintentional fallacies in their writing or responses to class discussion. It takes time and effort to learn how to identify fallacies.

Fallacies are easy to find on most bumper stickers around election time, t-shirts at political rallies, or from a relative at any family gathering.

There are an immense amount of identified fallacies. However, you can begin with these common fallacies.

YourLogicalFallacyIs.com has free PDF posters and flashcards to help you learn to recognize fallacies. Start with these fallacies:

Additional Information

Critical Thinking

Defining critical thinking has kept philosophers and educators busy for centuries. Any definition is contested.
However, for our purposes let’s define critical thinking as using logic to comprehend, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information or evidence to form a correct judgement or achieve a desired goal.
If you want to have some fun, give this definition to four philosophy majors or learning and teaching scholars, then just watch the sparks fly. Also, you should recognize the ordering of steps in the definition, if not, figure out where it comes from.
Critical thinking is applied skepticism and works best when you eliminate your biases and identify fallacies.

Additional Information