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Thinking Clearly

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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
 
Thinking Clearly guest, political scientist, author and educator Timothy Redmond, discusses the toxic effects of extreme political tribalism on our democratic institutions and offers hope and solutions—as detailed in his recent book: Political Tribalism in America: How Hyper-Partisanship Dumbs Down Democracy and How to Fix It.…
 
Psychologist, author and entrepreneur, Gary Klein, joins us a second time to take a closer look at experts, skilled intuition and many of the other topics associated with Naturalistic Decision Making—a process of understanding how people make decisions and perform cognitively complex functions in demanding, real-world situations.…
 
Mark Edward tells the story of his journey from the world of magicians and psychics to becoming a skeptical activist who promotes science and critical thinking. As a skilled practitioner of mentalism, Mark has authored a number of books on magic, mentalism, and séance production, including his revealing book: Psychic Blues. And, on this episode of …
 
The conjunction fallacy, base rate neglect and the Monty Hall Problem are some of the topics discussed as guest John Allen Paulos from Temple University offers up a host of essential critical thinking tools relating to understanding probability and other statistical concepts. Professor Paulos authored the widely acclaimed book, Innumeracy-Mathemati…
 
Under very unusual conditions, Jon Guy made a transition from one who never thought much about skepticism, the nature of science and critical thinking to learning and mastering those topics and writing the excellent and comprehensive book: Think Straight—An Owner’s Manual for the Mind—described on the Rowman & Littlefield web page as: “a tour de fo…
 
Our guest, Melanie Trecek-King, Associate Professor of Biology at Massasoit Community College, became dissatisfied with students mindlessly memorizing facts about biology, so she designed a general-education science course that puts less emphasis on facts and more on science and information literacy and critical thinking. Her commitment to these to…
 
Dr. James Zimring, professor, medical researcher and author of the books What Science Is And How It Works and Partial Truths-How Fractions Distort Our Thinking, describes how the form of a simple fraction can be used as a conceptual framework to understand errors that we commonly make in our thinking. Many aspects of critical thinking are discussed…
 
Dr. Paul Thagard is our guest on this final episode of a three-part series on The Nature of Trust. Paul is a philosopher, cognitive scientist, author and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy from the University of Waterloo. As described in his 3-book Treatise on Mind and Society, he discusses the relatively new approach in cognitive scien…
 
This second edition in a three-part series on The Nature of Trust features guest Dr. Kevin Vallier, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University and author of the books: Must Politics Be War? and Trust in a Polarized Age. Topics discussed include the importance of social and political trust in our liberal democracy, the relat…
 
In this episode of Thinking Clearly, Bob and Julia introduce the issue of trust. They examine what it is, give a sampling of some of the extensive research on trust, present results from survey information on trust and discuss how trust relates to critical thinking. In this episode, you’ll also hear a clip from recent recordings Bob made, with a sa…
 
Thinking Clearly guest, Dr. Tania Israel, Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara—author of the book: Beyond Your Bubble: How to Connect Across the Political Divide—discusses the importance of (and how to learn) crucial communication and relationship building skills, …
 
Guest Stephen Hawkins is the director of research at More in Common—a non-profit organization focused on understanding the forces driving us apart and working to bring us together to tackle our shared challenges. The discussion focuses on research findings revealing a number of hidden political “tribes” in America, the lack of accuracy with which o…
 
Street Epistemology is a conversational tool that helps people reflect on the quality of their reasons and the reliability of the methods they have used to form their deeply-held beliefs and to clarify the degree of confidence they have in those beliefs. Anthony Magnabosco, co founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Street Epis…
 
With the view that America is now as polarized as it has been since the civil war, and that this amount of polarization drastically impairs our democratic process, the organization Braver Angels was founded "to bring Americans together to bridge the partisan divide and strengthen our democratic republic." From his experience as head of marketing, d…
 
When making a judgment about what to do or believe—when there are risks involved—it becomes important to look at the consequences of our choices, and this involves accurately assessing both the risks and benefits of those choices. With the help of guest David Ropeik, who coined the term "perception gap" and has authored two books on the subject, Bo…
 
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…
 
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