Logic and critical thinking: the missing link? 


Angelos Rodafinos
is a Higher Education Consultant with a background in psychology and 25 years of teaching, research, and management experience at more than 10 different educational institutions in Europe and Australia, including two top 100 universities of the world. He has trained university staff on learning/teaching theories and innovative technologies and coordinated the development and e-facilitation of dozens of online units. He has developed the first online Research Portal and automated the process of reporting plagiarism incidents. His research has focused on Sports, Applied, Social, and Organizational Psychology. Dr Ro is the author of two books on stress management and the psychology of change and more than 40 scientific articles on stress and coping, smoking, and doping. 

Presentation

Are astrology predictions valid? Does homeopathy/acupuncture/reiki [insert treatment] work? Are we Greeks [insert nationality] the smartest in the world? Why do people believe in something but not in something else? How can we find reliable answers? Why don’t we change our beliefs, even after new information discredits them? 

The potential dangers of dis/misinformation and belief in prejudice, dogma, conspiracy theories and pseudoscience are manifold. Especially in times of crisis, a lack of critical thinking poses significant risks for both the individual and society as a whole. 

Individuals constantly need to decide what to believe or what to do. In essence, through reasoning, we are trying to make sure that there are serious reasons that confirm our beliefs and actions.

Problem solving and critical thinking – and not ‘knowledge,’ as no one can beat Google – are among the top 5 most desirable skills in the 21st century. Educational institutions should teach the ability to discover, evaluate, and synthesize the data and the available information to produce new knowledge and results.

In the presentation we will discuss the importance of rational and critical thinking in education, work and daily life, the obstacles to the development of rationalism, and possible plans for quick wins.