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Critical Thinking Index Page. Executive functions. Executive functions (also known as cognitive control and supervisory attentional system) is an umbrella term for the management (regulation, control) of cognitive processes, including working memory, reasoning, flexibility, and problem solving as well as planning and execution.[1][2][3] The prefrontal areas of the frontal lobe are necessary but not solely sufficient for executive functions.

Executive functions

Neuroanatomy[edit] Historically, the executive functions have been seen as regulated by the prefrontal regions of the frontal lobes, but it is still a matter of ongoing debate if that really is the case. Even though articles on prefrontal lobe lesions commonly refer to disturbances of executive functions and vice versa, a review found indications for the sensitivity but not for the specificity of executive function measures to frontal lobe functioning. This means that both frontal and non-frontal brain regions are necessary for intact executive functions.

Inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning (as opposed to deductive reasoning or abductive reasoning) is reasoning in which the premises seek to supply strong evidence for (not absolute proof of) the truth of the conclusion.

Inductive reasoning

While the conclusion of a deductive argument is certain, the truth of the conclusion of an inductive argument is probable, based upon the evidence given.[1] The philosophical definition of inductive reasoning is more nuanced than simple progression from particular/individual instances to broader generalizations. Rather, the premises of an inductive logical argument indicate some degree of support (inductive probability) for the conclusion but do not entail it; that is, they suggest truth but do not ensure it. Schema (psychology) In psychology and cognitive science, a schema (plural schemata or schemas) describes an organized pattern of thought or behavior that organizes categories of information and the relationships among them.[1] It can also be described as a mental structure of preconceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information.[2] Schemata influence attention and the absorption of new knowledge: people are more likely to notice things that fit into their schema, while re-interpreting contradictions to the schema as exceptions or distorting them to fit.

Schema (psychology)

Schemata have a tendency to remain unchanged, even in the face of contradictory information. Schemata can help in understanding the world and the rapidly changing environment.[3] People can organize new perceptions into schemata quickly as most situations do not require complex thought when using schema, since automatic thought is all that is required.[3] Main article: Schema Therapy. Abductive reasoning. Abductive reasoning (also called abduction,[1] abductive inference[2] or retroduction[3]) is a form of logical inference that goes from an observation to a hypothesis that accounts for the observation, ideally seeking to find the simplest and most likely explanation.

Abductive reasoning

In abductive reasoning, unlike in deductive reasoning, the premises do not guarantee the conclusion. One can understand abductive reasoning as "inference to the best explanation".[4] The fields of law,[5] computer science, and artificial intelligence research[6] renewed interest in the subject of abduction. Diagnostic expert systems frequently employ abduction. History[edit] The American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914) first introduced the term as "guessing".[7] Peirce said that to abduce a hypothetical explanation.

Critical Thinking On The Web. Top Ten Argument Mapping Tutorials.

Critical Thinking On The Web

Six online tutorials in argument mapping, a core requirement for advanced critical thinking.The Skeptic's Dictionary - over 400 definitions and essays. The Fallacy Files by Gary Curtis. Best website on fallacies. Butterflies and Wheels. What is critical thinking? Nobody said it better than Francis Bacon, back in 1605: For myself, I found that I was fitted for nothing so well as for the study of Truth; as having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblances of things … and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their subtler differences; as being gifted by nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and that hates every kind of imposture.

A shorter version is the art of being right. More definitions... Program for Critical Thinking 6 Dec 21 May. Critical Thinking Skills. Heuristic. A heuristic technique (/hjʉˈrɪstɨk/; Greek: "Εὑρίσκω", "find" or "discover"), sometimes called simply a heuristic, is any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical methodology not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals.


Where finding an optimal solution is impossible or impractical, heuristic methods can be used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution. Heuristics can be mental shortcuts that ease the cognitive load of making a decision. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, stereotyping, profiling, or common sense. More precisely, heuristics are strategies using readily accessible, though loosely applicable, information to control problem solving in human beings and machines.[1] Example[edit] Here are a few other commonly used heuristics, from George Pólya's 1945 book, How to Solve It:[2] Executive functions. EVALUATING CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS.