Video credits: Luba Krutenko and Tamara Krutenko

Is Elsa drawing the correct conclusion? Click on your answer!

This is not the right answer. Although true, it does not make Elsa’s conclusion correct. There is indeed a clear difference between the two vegetable baskets, but our data collection suffers from a selection bias. Put simply, people (probably) just took the nice cucumbers and left the ugly ones. More in the abstract, vegetables in a mostly sold-out box are not statistically representative of the vegetables when the box was still full. In the ICTA course, we’ll train recognizing selection bias.

This is not the right answer. Although our personal preferences for ‘perfect-looking’ vegetables can differ, there is a clear, objective difference between the two boxes (left: ripe and colorful, right: rotten and brown), with most people willing to pay less money for those rotten vegetables. The deeper problem is that our data collection suffers from a selection bias. Put simply, people (probably) just took the nice cucumbers and left the ugly ones. More in the abstract, vegetables in a mostly sold-out box are not statistically representative of the vegetables when the box was still full. In the ICTA course, we’ll train recognizing selection bias.

This is the right answer, good job! Our data collection suffers from a selection bias. Put simply, people (probably) just took the nice cucumbers and left the ugly ones. More in the abstract, vegetables in a mostly empty box are not statistically representative of the vegetables when the box was still full. In the ICTA course, we’ll train recognizing selection bias.

Video credits: Luba Krutenko and Tamara Krutenko

Is Elsa drawing the correct conclusion? Click on your answer!

This is not the right answer. Although true, it does not make Elsa’s conclusion correct. Elsa probably does have enough data from her experience (hundreds/thousands of buildings) to say that there is a clear difference. However, her data collection suffers from a selection bias. Put simply, people (probably) maintained the pretty buildings, leaving us with only the pretty buildings from the olden days. With new buildings, we simply see everything that is built. More in the abstract, buildings that have been maintained and not demolished are not statistically representative of the full set of buildings when they were built. In the ICTA course, we’ll train recognizing selection bias.

Although maybe true, this is not the right answer. Although our personal preferences for pretty buildings can differ, we could imagine everyone sharing her opinion on the matter. The deeper problem is that our data collection suffers from a selection bias. Put simply, people (probably) maintained the pretty buildings, leaving us with only the pretty buildings from the olden days. With new buildings, we simply see everything that is built. More in the abstract, buildings that have been maintained and not demolished are not statistically representative of the full set of buildings when they were built. In the ICTA course, we’ll train recognizing selection bias.

This is the right answer, great job! Our data collection suffers from a selection bias. Put simply, people (probably) maintained the pretty buildings, leaving us with only the pretty buildings from the olden days. With new buildings, we simply see everything that is built. More in the abstract, buildings that have been maintained and not demolished are not statistically representative of the full set of buildings when they were built. In the ICTA course, we’ll train recognizing selection bias.

Thinking clearly is a skill, and hence can be acquired like any other. In the course Introduction to Critical Thinking for Adults (ICTA), you will learn the basics of critical thinking: using logic to structure arguments, dealing with cognitive biases that distort our perception, the art of estimation and weighing evidence. Maybe the above two quizzes already made you think about selection bias — well, that’s the kind of topic you’ll learn much more about in the ICTA course!

Why should you join? Our already complex world is changing at an unprecedented pace. It’s not rare that we want to have well thought-out answers to complicated questions — “What should we do about global warming?”, “Are the corona measures worth it?”, “Will Germany win the world cup?” are just a few of them. Although these questions all seem very different, they all share this property: general thinking skills are necessary to develop robust answers to them. However, most of us did not learn to think systematically. The goal of the ICTA course is to acquire these much-needed thinking skills.

This course is not:

  • … about making you a negative or “critical” person. The word “critical” doesn’t sound very positive; but it is about being objective rather than negative!
  • … going to give you “all the answers”. You’ll have tools to develop sound arguments faster and more rationally, but it remains a difficult and slow process.
  • … appropriate for people with substantial prior training in critical thinking.
  • … strongly political or opinionated. I want to keep the focus on improving the quality of our thinking, but I don’t want to tell you what to believe.

Where do I sign up? For now, just send the teacher (Karsten) a short e-mail (critical-thinking@karsten.jetzt) with 1. your name, 2. your age and 3. whether you have any prior training in critical thinking. Then we’ll be sure to stay in touch 🙂

Well, I’m not convinced yet. That’s fine! Why don’t you tune in for the free online workshop on Thursday 28 May from 19.00 to 20.30 on Zoom (calendar invitation)? Even if you won’t join the course, you’ll leave this workshop having learned a useful thinking tool!

Can you send me more details? Sure, have a look at the topics, meeting frequency, costs etc. in the tentative course syllabus. Feel free to shoot me an email to ask any further questions about the course content that you may have. For questions about payment and other administrative matters concerning Lyzeum, you can contact Mikhail directly.

I would love to join the webinar/course but I can’t because of … . Just shoot me a short e-mail explaining the situation — it’s quite likely that we can figure out something!

2020-05-24T10:15:33+00:00Uncategorized|