With that in mind, the foundation recently commissioned a survey, which will be conducted each year in an attempt to better understand shifts in the public’s views on critical thinking and what it means for the future of society.While the public believes that critical thinking is crucial, most people believe that schools do not do enough to prepare young people to think more effectively.
It conducts surveys and opinion polls, leads its own research, and supports the work of university-affiliated scholars.
Members of the public say they practice critical thinking, but their behaviors often suggest otherwise.
Researcher Heather Butler recently conducted a study that found “critical thinkers experience fewer bad things in life.”According to Butler, good critical thinkers are far less likely to foreclose on a home or carry large credit card balances, while those without strong critical thinking skills are more likely to have an extramarital affair and drink while driving.
What’s more, there’s plenty of evidence that our democracy is fraying because of a lack of reflective thought.
For example, we found that over one-third of respondents consider Wikipedia, a crowd-sourced website, to be the equivalent of a thoroughly vetted encyclopedia.
What’s more, people rely on Wikipedia almost as much as they rely on government websites for factual research, according to our study.
But despite the need for more critical thinking, our institutions have not done nearly enough to give students richer thinking tools.
In too many schools, critical thinking is not taught to young people.
And around 27 percent use only one source of information while making a decision.
The lack of critical thinking skills is particularly apparent online.