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Critical thinker?

September 12, 2012

I’m not sure how the topic of this post fits with the theme of the blog but I suspect that it may – in the end.

I am taking a statistics course online. I can almost hear you all groaning. Completion of the course is not for credit. In other words, I don’t HAVE to take it. I am taking it because I want to eventually do doctorate level research. I will need to have a better understanding of statistics than I currently have in order to do that – doctorate level research, I mean.

The statistics course is reminding me of how important it is to avoid jumping to conclusions when research statistics demonstrate that there is a relationship between two things. One of those things (variables) may cause the other thing (variable). Something completely different may cause both of the variables The relationship may only be true for a small subset of people. I’ve only described a few of the possible causes of why two things (like glasses and grey hair) may look like they go together.

The statistics course is also reminding me of how many of us are way too certain about way too many things.

I listened to a radio program last night that reinforced the idea that many of us are way too certain about way too many things. Apparently, it is normal for us to ignore information with which we are not familiar. Unfortunately this often leads us to “hang out” with people who agree with us about most things and who rarely disagree or challenge us. I know from experience that it is very comforting to be with people who understand me and agree with me. In fact, I think part of the reason I started this blog was to find people who thought like me.

However, I also started this blog to find people to encourage me to be an occupational therapist (and now I would go further and say “a person”) who does not contribute to the oppression of disabled people in my work and my personal life. I suspect that in order to do that people will sometimes (often times?) need to challenge me and prove me wrong.

Ah-ha! This post is all about me asking all of you to please, please challenge me if what I write about doesn’t quite fit with your perspective or view of things. Please help me to be a critical thinker. Thanks in advance.

Sheila

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