Critical Thinking: Logic Versus Flawed Perception
Look up the definition of the words "think" and "thinking" in the dictionary and you will find a myriad of answers ranging from the practice of reasoning to how we see the world around us. The common theme, if a bit simplistic, is that in thinking, we use our minds to gather and process information, stimuli, or ideas. Critical thinking, however, is much more complex and involved in that it is a process in which we actively question and evaluate the data we gather to form a conclusion based on logic and reason.
How do we gather the information to think about? We use our senses, with or without cognizance of our doing so, to perceive data through what we see, hear and feel. Our senses are bombarded with new stimuli every second of every day of our lives. Some of it is immediately thought provoking, some of it is merely forgotten about, and some of it is filed away in our memory.
Perception is everything we have ever seen, heard or felt, and is the sum total of our memory, and thus, is the basis for our thoughts. Sometimes our minds process what we perceive in a faulty way. Sometimes what we see, hear and feel does not match reality, though we take it in as if it were quite real and it becomes a flawed part of our knowledge. In some instances when this occurs, it is through natural error that we take in and process information incorrectly. In other instances, we see, hear, or feel things that we want to see, hear and feel, based off our expectations, even if it is flawed. If we expect to sense something in a certain way, chances are we will. In either case, the...