Critical thinkers tend to exhibit certain traits that are common to them. These traits are summarized in Table 6. Recall that critical thinking is an active mode of thinking. Instead of just receiving messages and accepting them as is, we consider what they are saying.
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Over the last few years, conspiracy thinking seems to have mushroomed — most visibly perhaps in the US, where QAnon supporters stormed the Capitol. Elsewhere, across the world, coronavirus-related conspiracies have abounded; one large-scale survey conducted last year found that as many as one in five Britons believed the COVID fatality rate may have been exaggerated. We already know that certain factors make individuals particularly prone to conspiratorial thinking — their level of education , for example, or a desire to feel special. And a new study , published in Applied Cognitive Psychology , has identified another facet of cognition linked to conspiratorial beliefs: critical thinking. They then took part in a critical thinking activity, reading a letter to the editor of a newspaper arguing that overnight parking should be banned in a particular area.
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A belief is an attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about the world is true. However, holding a belief does not require active introspection. For example, few carefully consider whether or not the sun will rise tomorrow, simply assuming that it will.
Conclusions based on falsehoods and conspiracy theories are by definition flawed. The present study uses a series of large, nationally representative surveys of the U. Individuals who view reality as a political construct are significantly more likely to embrace falsehoods, whereas those who believe that their conclusions must hew to available evidence tend to hold more accurate beliefs. Confidence in the ability to intuitively recognize truth is a uniquely important predictor of conspiracist ideation.