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Thinking Clearly

51
Thinking Clearly

Bob Froehlich-Retired Chemist, Counselor, Psychology Professor and Julia Minton-Technology Consultant

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In this age of fake news, alternative facts and information overload, this podcast offers cognitive self-defense strategies and topics that will help you understand and master critical thinking in forming your claims beliefs and opinions.
 
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show series
 
Starting with a discussion of taking an evolutionary perspective and then briefly describing: Human Evolutionary History, Predictive Processing, The Dual Processing Model, Cultural Co-evolution, Group Polarization, Identity Protective Cognition, and the impact of Cultural Change on Polarization, the hosts conclude with thoughts about the COVID pand…
 
As many of us search for ways to escape from this post-truth world and set foot on solid ground where we can trust each other to make legitimate arguments about our differing beliefs and strive together to find shared truths, Jonathan Rauch, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, offers a possible path forward. Jonathan is an experienced journ…
 
As part of background research for his new book How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason, philosopher, educator, and author Lee McIntyre attended the 2018 Flat Earth International Conference in Denver Co. In this episode, Professor McIntyre discusses that experience, describes th…
 
Colonel (retired) Steve Gerras teaches critical thinking at the Army War College. On this edition of Thinking Clearly, he shares his advocacy and passion for the subject, and his experiences of teaching it to future military leaders. Professor Gerras has a Masters Degree and PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Pennsylvania State Un…
 
The term “attention economy” has become a buzzword in our current zeitgeist. But 30 to 40 years ago Michael Goldhaber, who has a PhD in physics coupled with a passionate 1960’s brewed concern about social and political justice, began thinking and writing about human attention as a scarce resource and made predictions about how the newly emerging in…
 
Hosts, Bob Froehlich and Julia Minton, review the Thinking Clearly definition (and longer description) of critical thinking and discuss the importance that genuine curiosity has to the critical thinking process. They then discuss a number of "deep questions" that have grown out of their background research from doing Thinking Clearly for almost fiv…
 
With their guest Andy Norman, Bob and Julia discuss the idea of applying biomedical concepts such as infection, immunity, and inoculation to what happens when humans are exposed to invasive false, misleading and harmful ideas and beliefs. Andy Norman is the author of the recent book: Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search…
 
Dr. Bill Doherty, professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota, joins hosts Bob and Julia to discuss how to best manage those difficult political discussions with family and friends who have viewpoints sharply different from ours. Also discussed is the work of Braver Angels, an organization co-founded by Bill …
 
How do the groups that we belong to affect our feelings, beliefs and behavior? Can we really think critically about issues without being strongly influenced by the norms established by those groups? These and others questions are discussed with Professor Amber Gaffney from Humboldt State University.By Bob Froehlich-Retired Chemist, Counselor, Psychology Professor and Julia Minton-Technology Consultant
 
Jevin West, Associate Professor at the University of Washington and coauthor of the recent book: Calling Bullshit – the Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World, joins Bob and Julia to discuss the nature of BS, how it has changed with the emergence of the internet and social media, and when and how to challenge it. Other topics include: how to rees…
 
Flying solo on this episode, Bob discusses three perspectives on how our brains work and then, with the help of prerecorded audio clips, surveys the current state of our information pollution, considers some possible scenarios about our information future, including a possible "infocalypse" created by so-called "deep fakes", and gives ideas and res…
 
There is no end in sight to the amount of misinformation and disinformation that we are currently being exposed to. With a contentious US presidential election and the seasonal spike in COVID-19 pandemic cases, that pollution is on the rise, and information that used to be politically neutral is now being politicized and weaponized. These and other…
 
In this episode, Bob and Julia demonstrate a unique information vetting process using as an example, a prevalent internet meme about the Black Lives Matter movement. The vetting process begins with introspection in regard to one's motivation, biases, and goals, as relating to the information being vetted, and then proceeds by analyzing the authenti…
 
A process of civil dialogue and intellectual empathy is used by hosts Bob Froehlich and Julia Minton and their guest, Pastor Dave Seaford, to share each of their perspectives on the "Nature of Truth." Dr. Dave Seaford is the pastor at the First Baptist Church in Redway, California and is also Professor of Apologetics, Reason and Theology at Veritas…
 
In this episode Bob and Julia discuss the polluted state of our information environment in this complex, technical, culturally shifting world we're living in. They then outline a step by step method for vetting our information, in order to help us tentatively decide its truth value and to help decide what to do with the information. This is the fir…
 
As the US Presidential Election approaches, a swarm of issues are being politicized—exposing us to communication from downright propaganda pieces and disinformation to reasoned balanced arguments—making this a great time to start practicing critical thinking. The timing also makes long-time critical thinking educator, Jonathan Haber, author of Crit…
 
Bob and Julia talk strategies for recognizing and combating misinformation with psychologist and cartoonist Dr. John Cook from George Mason University. Dr Cook, a specialist in countering science denial, discusses various methods of inoculation against misinformation and the uses of cartoons, humor, and educational games to counter misinformation a…
 
Hosts Bob and Julia discuss a variety of topics with Anthony Weston, including: the most important aspects of teaching critical thinking and those most difficult for students to master; why it's important, at this time in our culture, to learn and practice critical thinking skills; the prevalence of values-based aspects in issues we encounter in ou…
 
The current COVID-19 pandemic has made critical thinking and reducing the misinformation and disinformation in our information environment more important than ever. In addition to hosts Bob and Julia discussing the issue, this episode features a prerecorded interview that Bob did with Professor Amanda Hughes from Brigham Young University, an expert…
 
This episode features a discussion with guest, Baba Brinkman. Baba is a Canadian rapper and playwright, now based in New York, especially known for recordings and performances that combine hip hop music with literature, theatre, and science. Topics discussed include: rap and hip hop as effective means for promoting science and critical thinking, sc…
 
This discussion, with Dr. Spencer Greenberg, focuses on a variety of free tools and mini-courses, on-line at: clearerthinking.org. These fun, interactive tools and mini-courses, developed by Dr. Greenberg and associates, have been meticulously designed to improve your critical thinking skills, help you understand yourself more deeply, form new posi…
 
This episode focuses on how we humans "construct" our perceptions of reality using our “Bayesian Brain” to integrate incoming sensory information with our preconceived notions of the world around us. Citing work done by Dr. Anil Seth, Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex in England, Bob and Julia discuss…
 
The connectivity of the internet allows us to retrieve accurate information, which can be used to support true beliefs, but also exposes us to misinformation and disinformation created to perpetuate false beliefs. In this episode, U.C. Irvine Professor Cailin O'Connor, coauthor of the book "The Misinformation Age", discusses her research using comp…
 
How our beliefs affect us and belief change are topics of focus in this episode of Thinking Clearly with guest: Professor Michael Wolfe from Grand Valley State University. Professor Wolfe's research interests on how our preexisting beliefs affect our evaluation of arguments, the degree to which we change our beliefs when exposed to information that…
 
As discussed in his recent book: "The Know-It-All Society", Michael P. Lynch, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, helps us take another look at the current state of dialogue in contemporary American culture as we discuss how polarization, conviction and intellectual arrogance has led us to believe that we have nothing to learn…
 
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