Thinking. We do it all the time (hopefully). It is crucial to making even the smallest decisions (what to wear, what to eat), and bigger decisions (where to go, what to do). Given this challenging time, even news watchers would be advised to use evaluative and critical thinking.  Especially since evaluation is an everyday activity.

This graphic was provided by WNYC. (There are other graphics; use your search engine to find them.)This graphic makes good sense to me and this applies to almost every news cast (even those without a shooter!).

Information sources and thinking

Above is something that consumers can use to measure the various sources of information that are available daily, especially in these challenging political times. (No, I won’t get into what makes those time challenging; suffice it to say that reacting is not necessarily the best approach, and I see a lot of reacting lately.) Evaluative thinking means that the evaluator measures what has made a difference in a person’s life. Critical thinking means that the individual (in this case the evaluator) asks the important questions, allows individuals to weigh the issues.

Probably the best way you can make a difference make a difference (in your life, the lives of significant others, in the world) is to use evaluative thinking. Can the criteria being used be measured? Do the words have an agreed upon definition? Is there any consensus to the issue? If not, why not?

If you do not know if you are thinking evaluatively or thinking critically, stop and ponder. Use your search engine. Study the issues. Do not react to them. Do not blindly follow where others lead. Do not accept what others tell you. Check it out. Fact check. There are independent sources available to help you (Politifact, for example). Reacting is only reinforcing the current state of affairs; be thoughtful. Think.

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