Is critical thinking useful for all problems?


Critical thinking involves identifying and evaluating evidence to guide thoughts and decision making. The American Psychological Association puts a strong emphasis on critical thinking in psychology. They have identified developing critical thinking skills as one of the main learning Outcomes for a psychology major.

Review Chapter 1, which discusses the LEARN approach to critical thinking.

Identify a problem and apply it to the LEARN approach.

The problem can be either:

  1. Personal — a problem that you have experienced yourself.
  2. Not Personal — a problem that you have observed, but that did not affect you personally.

Use the LEARN approach to evaluate the problem. For each step of the problem, give an example of what you could do to think critically about the problem from that perspective. Share your examples of each part of the LEARN approach with the class in the Discussion Forum, and then answer the following questions:

  • Did you notice any differences in your critical thinking examples for the personal versus the not personal problem?
  • Which aspect of the LEARN approach do you think you do the most?
  • Which aspect of the LEARN approach do you think you do the least?
  • Is critical thinking useful for all problems? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think the American Psychological Association emphasizes critical thinking for psychology majors?

Your discussion post should be at least 300 words and include minimally (2) citations. One citation will include the assigned readings. The second citation will need to be from a peer-reviewed academic source. Websites will not count as a second source.

As a psychologist, the formulation of your writings about topics should always be in response to and based on the current literature in your field. Psychologists are expected to reflect their on their understanding of of the current literature by referring to academic sources in their writing, and then reflecting on those sources. Most academic sources come from journal articles, books, and conference papers.


This assignment meets the following Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes 

  • PLO 2 – Students will be able to read analytically, write clearly, using the APA Style Manual, and speak articulately about the study of psychology.
  • PLO 8 – Students will be able to apply psychological principles and theory to individual, social, and organizational issues.

Course Learning Outcomes 

  • CLO 5 – Develop scientific, skeptical inquiry, and critical thinking skills to ask, answer and understand questions related to behavior and mental processes. (Aligns with PLOs 2 and 8)

Module Learning Outcomes 

  • MLO 2 – Examine the role of critical thinking in the field of psychology. (Aligns with CLO 5)
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