Sunday, January 20, 2008

Position of Critical Thinking in the Field of Psychology

By Sudipa Sarkar
Support the position that critical thinking is vital in the field of psychology. Explain some essential components of critical thinking. Address the role of research in building knowledge psychological theories.

Position of Critical Thinking in the Field of Psychology

Critical thinking is the rationally well-organized method of dynamically and competently conceptualizing, applying, analyzing the authenticity and truthfulness of the statements or propositions already offered by the method of observation, experience, retrospection, logic, or communication. Critical thinking is an important crucial factor in the field of psychology as it focuses on evaluation and analyzing various research components by virtue of arguments made by theorists and researchers.

As a human being, our thinking pattern is not free from any potential source of bias, so in the application of psychology, we cannot indeed rely on the informal observation or common sense to come into conclusion about human motive and behaviour. In order to reduce such bias, careful engagement into critical thinking may help us a lot. By the method of critical thinking, we can closely examine claims and assumptions associated with a hypothesis, cautiously assess existing evidence, and vigilantly measure all conclusions.

Essential Components of Critical Thinking

Data Allocation: Allocate as much information as possible before coming into any kind of conclusion

Neutral Stand: Keep a neutral and broad stand point of view

Inquisitive: Be inquisitive regarding the origin of the issue in question

Skeptical: Be skeptical about the necessity of presenting particular argument

Bias Control: Refrain from any self or other induced bias – such as, other are accepting, so it may be true

Problem Solving: Focus on your logic and problem solving ability while dealing with critical thinking

Emotional bias: Emotion can influence thinking pattern, so identify it and keep its effect to minimum

Role of research in building knowledge psychological theories

The role of research in building psychological theories are important because it identifies the factors that play in addressing interpersonal, societal and human needs and motivation as well as affect behaviour. In case of academic psychologists, they primarily focus on the area of psychological research and development of theories, aiming at more focused understanding and evaluation of that particular area. By using research method, researcher actively, diligently and systematically processes the inquiry by virtue of investigation, interpretation and revision of facts. This systematic intellectual process helps in a greater understanding of events, motivation, behaviour as well as development of theories.
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