Questioning the Message Analytical Essay by Sammy

Questioning the Message
An in-depth look at critical thinking and how we should not just assume things from statistics or accept things at face value.
# 4484 | 960 words | 1 source | 2001 | US
Published on Feb 12, 2003 in Philosophy (Logic) , English (Analysis) , Communication (General)

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In this paper the author looks at the concept of critical thinking. He examines the world of academia, which he suggests is saturated with ideas, assumptions and statistics. He suggests that many educators strive to teach the skills to utilize these ideas, assumptions and statistics in both a scholarly context and in real life situations. He then contends that to assume that critical thinking skills are so easily transferable is far more complex. With this in mind he moves on to look at Stephen Jay Gould's essay, "The Median Isn't the Message," in which he suggests that Gould describes the difficulties of taking statistics and academic studies out of context. Gould does this by referring to a time when he was diagnosed with a disease and how easily he could have been misled by the statistics had he chosen not to use his own critical thinking.

From the paper:

"Gould points out these personal experiences to send a message to his readers. Generally one does not relate such personal details of one's life to simply prove some academic concept. Gould wants his readers to take his experience and apply it. He tells the reader through his own account, to question everything, especially statistics. Humans have a tendency to hear statistics and interpret them without questioning what is really being said."

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