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Using the Web to Enhance Critical Thinking About Psychology

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Using the Web to Enhance Critical Thinking About Psychology Connie Varnhagen What do we mean by Critical Thinking ? Knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Using the Web to Enhance Critical Thinking About Psychology


1
Using the Web to Enhance Critical Thinking About
Psychology
  • Connie Varnhagen

2
What do we mean by Critical Thinking?
  • Knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding
    thinking, reasoning, and problem solving
  • Propensity to apply these knowledge, skills, and
    attitudes

3
Types of Critical Thinking
  • Halonen
  • Practical Critical Thinking
  • Accurate, objective observation and analysis of
    everyday behavior
  • Methodological Critical Thinking
  • Understanding and interpretation (and
    application) of the scientific method
  • Theoretical Critical Thinking
  • Understanding and application of scientific
    explanations of behavior

4
Promoting Critical Thinking
  • Active learning
  • Self-directed learning
  • Constructed learning
  • Problem-based learning
  • Discussion
  • Real-world context

5
Realities in Many Classrooms
  • Large classes
  • Minimal resources
  • Changing student demographics
  • Changing student needs
  • Increased pressures on faculty

6
Functional Analysis of the Web for Promoting
Critical Thinking
  • Disseminate information
  • Students can critically evaluate information they
    obtain from the Web
  • Communication
  • Students can sharpen their critical thinking,
    reading, and writing skills
  • Simulations and demonstrations
  • Students can experience different environments

7
Using the Web to Promote Practical Critical
Thinking
  • Use the information dissemination function of the
    Web to have students read and critically evaluate
    arguments, e.g.,
  • Recognize observer expectancy bias in facilitated
    communication
  • Letter from a mother
  • Skeptical site
  • Balanced site

8
Arguments for Observer-Expectancy
  • I think that no matter how much everyone wants to
    believe in facilitated communication and no
    matter how great it would be if all autistic
    individuals could have the opportunity to
    communicate ... a lot more research must go into
    the idea because I think that facilitated
    communication is very much like the case of
    Clever Hans.
  • No matter how much families want to believe it, I
    seriously believe there is nothing to support the
    validity of facilitated communication. Unless the
    children can communicate under test conditions
    (facilitator with no idea what question is being
    asked), then I can't bring myself to believe it
    works. The mother is really just hanging on to
    the hope that her son is expressing himself at a
    higher level than
  • he actually is.

9
Arguments against Observer-Expectancy
  • Honestly it is impossible to determine if the
    autism experiment is an example of
    observer-expectancy bias. But, I do have hope for
    all things so it is hope that will make me
    believe that what has happened to Lenny is NOT
    and example of observer-expectancy bias.
  • If it is helping the parents then what does it
    matter if the child is actually learning? even
    though it may or may not work it still serves a
    positive purpose. You don't have to believe in
    miracles to appreciate the happiness they cause.
    Fraud or not it still helps people and should be
    allowed to continue.

10
Using the Web to Promote Practical Critical
Thinking
  • Use the collaboration function of the Web to
    apply principles learned in class to real life,
    e.g.,
  • Design a Christmas Web site that color blind
    people can still enjoy
  • These guys did a great job
  • This one is interesting
  • This one would probably be fine for a color blind
    person

11
Using the Web to PromoteMethodological Critical
Thinking
  • Use the active learning function of the Web to
    understand how bias can affect experimental
    results, e.g.,
  • How can subject expectancy effects bias
    questionnaire results?
  • Lifestyle questionnaire

12
Using the Web to PromoteMethodological Critical
Thinking
  • Use the active learning function of the Web to
    distinguish inferences from observations, e.g.,
  • What do you infer if you are more likely to
    associate Bush with bad/good than Gore with
    good/bad?
  • Implicit Association Test

13
Using the Web to PromoteTheoretical Critical
Thinking
  • Use the incidental learning function of the Web
    to analyze a perspective or theory, e.g.,
  • How does Negative Reinforcement University use
    negative reinforcement to teach principles of
    negative reinforcement?
  • Negative Reinforcement University

14
Using the Web to PromoteTheoretical Critical
Thinking
  • Use the elaboration learning function of the Web
    to compare/contrast theories, e.g.,
  • How do Piagetian and information processing
    theories differ in their explanations of
    cognitive processing?
  • Combination of chemicals problem

15
Summing Up
  • Developing critical thinking skills (and the
    propensity to use them) is an important goal of
    psychology courses
  • As resources dwindle, the Web may be used
    effectively for promoting critical thinking
  • We must understand the type of critical thinking
    we are interested in as well as the functionality
    of the Web resource we want to use
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