The Importance of Critical Thinking

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Originally posted on Coaching for Excellence:

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” — Christopher Hitchens

Exactly what is critical thinking? According to Robert Ellis, author of The Path of Objectivity, critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe and what to do. Many of us do not realize our capacity for developing critical thinking. Numerous studies have shown that leaders who practice critical thinking are better able to adapt to the variables that may present within a constantly changing marketplace and competitive business environment. Critical thinking empowers employees, managers and individuals to learn from their mistakes, identify opportunities and overcome challenges both inside and outside of the workplace.

Developing our critical thinking skills requires a conscious and consistent commitment to challenge ourselves to be less judgmental, to think outside the box, to be empathic, and to change our habitual…

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Cognitive Biases and Behavioural Economics

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Originally posted on Health Psychology Consultancy:

Cognitive Biases and Behavioural Economics

cognitive hazard

 

It takes the human brain three hundred to seven hundred milliseconds to identify a picture or read a word aloud from a page. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the brain’s potential. However, there are many limitations to how the brain makes decisions; hiccups in our logical thinking that cause us to make unwise decisions. One such hiccup is cognitive bias. Sometimes cognitive biases help our brains process information more quickly and effectively, particularly in a crisis or tense situation where thinking faster has a direct, immediate outcome.

 

However, these same biases can cause us to make severe errors in judgement when we rely on them alone for processing information. A cognitive bias is a genuine failure in our thought processing – arising from miscalculations, external social influences, or personal experiences. When trading in any market, it is easy to…

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What the h*** is Systems Thinking?

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Originally posted on The Green Rose:

Since graduating with my Masters in Design for Sustainability I’ve had a lot of conversations with friends, family and potential employers about my degree and they mostly just want to know what “Design for Sustainability” actually means. Oh, I remember the good old days of telling people I worked in architecture and seeing the bright light of recognition behind their eyes! Truly, I didn’t understand what I had. But when I entered grad school I didn’t totally understand what I was getting myself into either. I did know that I wanted to spend my life in a creative field where I could improve the Earth’s and therefore our ability to maintain a vibrant, healthy environment. When my future professor described the program as being based on systems thinking, my eyes glazed over;  an ironic foreshadowing of future networking conversations. In my job application cover letters, I describe the program as using “human-centered design methodologies, interdisciplinary collaboration…

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A group composed of brilliant individuals will not automatically be the most brilliant group

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Originally posted on Neurologism:

Perhaps the whole can be better than the sum of its parts?

I came across a very interesting study on McGill University’s excellent Brain from Top to Bottom Blog.


In this study of collective intelligence, the researchers performed numerous statistical analyses. The most interesting finding that emerged from them, and that went beyond the debate about just what exactly collective intelligence might represent, was that this factor was not highly correlated with either the average intelligence of the groups’ members or with the intelligence of the group member who had scored the highest on the individual-intelligence test. In other words, a group composed of brilliant individuals will not automatically be the most brilliant group.
The psychologists did find some factors that let them predict whether a given group would be collectively intelligent. But to identify three, they had to look at factors associated with co-operation. The first such…

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We are what we say: how language shapes our brains

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Originally posted on Brainwaves For Leaders:

Adair Jones, a  Brainwaves for Leaders  staff writer and an expert in linguistics, has been thinking a lot about  the neuroscience of language and the effect it has on our behaviour. She includes a round up of some of the latest thinking on the subject.

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Languages differences

Since human languages vary considerably in the information they convey, scholars have long wondered how this might affect how we think and how we behave. According to Lera Boroditsky, an Associate Professor of Cognitive Science at UCSD, in a 2011 article for Scientific American, “A solid body of evidence showing how language shapes thinking has finally emerged. The evidence overturns the long standing dogma about universality and yields fascinating insights into the origins of knowledge and the construction of reality. The results have important implications for law, politics, and education.”

And business, one might add.

Research in Boroditsky’s lab, as well as…

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Race Among Medical Devices and Doctors: Analysis

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Originally posted on ScienceRoll:

For some time now, I’ve been forming a think tank that would focus on issues related to the future of medicine. As a first step, we decided to address the issue of the changing world of medical devices and how such changes might affect the lives of medical professionals and patients. Please feel free to comment on this analysis.

If we take a look at the possible scripts of the market competition in the health sector, we can make few predictions on the patients’ experience. The competition among the medical device manufacturers and the globalized competition among the high skilled health workers have significant social effects.

There are heterogeneous, jammed and loud worlds like in the motion picture Fifth Element, where many types of doctors and devices form the healthcare system. There could be a low-end/high end distinct health market, where the wealthy ones could afford a real-life practice, but the…

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