- Paperback: 298 pages
- Publisher: Waveland Pr Inc; 2 edition (September 10, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1577666291
- ISBN-13: 978-1577666295
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tools of Critical Thinking: Metathoughts for Psychology (Second edition) 2nd Edition
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From the Publisher
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
• The application of critical thinking skills to cross-cultural psychology and issues of cultural diversity
• More than 60 new and updated reference citations related to a wide range of contemporary topics
• Improved glossary of key terms, containing over 300 fully cross-referenced definitions
• The expanded use of humor, including parodies, cartoon illustrations, and clever satires
• Not-for-sale instructor resource material (test bank items and comprehensive PowerPoint CD package) available to college and university faculty only through the publisher
From the Back Cover
Levy’s style combines erudition with simplicity and earnestness with humor. . . . The result is a clear and compelling book, accessible to lay persons and mental health professionals alike.” — Thomas Szasz, State University of New York at Syracuse
“A remarkable book that masterfully teaches how to make us better at solving problems, at understanding events, at making decisions, and even at being creative. Read, learn, and have a good time doing it.” — Elizabeth F. Loftus, University of Washington
“David Levy has condensed both the wisdom of the ages and the findings of contemporary psychological science into a manageable set of principles (Metathoughts) that will notably improve the general quality of thought not only in clinical psychology and cognate areas but also across the broad expanse of scholarly and scientific endeavor.” — Robert C. Carson, Duke University
“Educators have criticized today’s students for their poor reasoning skills and faulty problem-solving abilities. Levy’s book will go considerable distance in closing these gaps by taking established scientific principles and making them accessible, useful, and entertaining!” — Shelley E. Taylor, University of California at Los Angeles
“David Levy’s lucid and good-humored guide to thinking is impressive in its scope, practical in its applications, and involving in its pedagogy.” — David G. Myers, Hope College
“Professors and teachers in psychology, philosophy, communication, and related fields should seriously consider adopting this text for their courses since today’s students could definitely use a good dose of bias busting and fallacy fixing. A definite ‘tool’ to add to one’s toolbox of skepticism.” — Michael Shermer, Skeptic
“This book is a wonderful addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in thinking clearly. . . . Students, writers, and instructors alike will find this a gold mine of ideas about precise and clear thinking.” — Linda Riebel, Saybrook Institute
“A beautifully written book and indispensable tool for a wide range of psychology courses, certain to appeal to readers of all levels and diverse backgrounds. Instructors will value its systematic approach, comprehensive scope, and the plethora of stimulating and engaging exercises. Students will enjoy its lively writing style, vivid examples, and practical applications to everyday life. . . . The finest book on critical thinking in the field.” — L. Anne Peplau, University of California at Los Angeles
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Top customer reviews
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Levy organizes his book into "metathoughts" that are grouped together according to usage. He does an excellent job of providing an in-depth analysis, while also remaining concise - rarely does an explanation get too lengthy. The in-text examples fully portray the ideas that he's attempting to get across, while additional exercises are provided for those that want to experiment a bit more.
There is no shortage of value in this book, and even those with an excellent background in logic, rhetoric or psychology will find ideas to improve their thought processes. Levy talks about language bias, the reification error (an extremely important - and often overlooked - error in the social sciences), tautologies, the naturalistic fallacy, the Barnum effect, how causation and correlation interrelate on different levels, common attribution mistakes, errors in reasoning, and biases in arguments. Levy even goes as far as to analyze how his own book is essentially a trade-off, and how the reader needs to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using a toolbox of techniques such as his metathoughts.
In addition to the plethora of valuable content, Levy peppers his book with humor and insightful quotations to round it out. There is very little that can be critically said about it outside of grumblings over price. Levy even includes an appendix that summaries all of the metathoughts and antidotes neatly to use as a quick reference when needed.
"Part One, Conceptualizing Phenomena" - There are nine lessons on what to watch out for when describing, naming, or comparing something.
"Part Two, Explaining Phenomena" - There are five lessons on causation. Primarily, lessons in the logic needed to determine what causes an event or behavior.
"Part Three, Common Misattributions" - The next five lessons deal with errors made in judging behavior. When you observe someone's act, it is not always possible to determine why they did it, even when you think the reason is obvious; the cause may be hidden.
"Part Four, Investigating Phenomena" - When you are conducting research, these seven lessons will help you improve the validity of your results. It is all too easy for your own viewpoint and biases to distort the conclusions of your study.
"Part Five, Other Biases and Fallacies in Thinking" - There are only three lessons in this part. Errors when using prototypes, the first explanation that comes to mind, and assuming you can solve a problem by knowing its cause.
"Part Six, Conclusions" - In this last part, there is only one lesson. When making any decision, there are always trade-offs. Consider your options; for example, if you are considering this book, have you looked at similar books first?
Following these chapters is a "Metathoughts Summary and Antidote Table", which, for each chapter, gives a short one paragraph summary followed by a few antidotes to help you avoid the thinking errors covered. At the end of the book is an extensive "Glossary" of terms and concepts.
The author's conversational, witty, humorous while being enlightening at the same time.