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FSEM 122 - Talking Climate (Perring)

Resources for investigating thoughts and actions in regard to climate change.

Critical Thinking Concepts

Concepts Involved in Judging and Producing Information

Dunning-Kruger Effect

Said well by Charles Darwin, “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” (The Descent of Man (1871) introduction)  It is a cognitive bias in which people wrongly overestimate their knowledge or ability in a given domain.


Grounds for belief; facts or observations that support a conclusion or statement; available information that indicats whether an opinion or proposition is true or valid.


The characteristic of being justifiably believable, usually through evidence.  Other facets of credibility include trustworthiness, objectivity, accuracy, trustfulness, and factuality.


Degree to which a source of information is consistent in the aspects of authenticity, trustworthiness, dependability and accuracy, and credibility.  Reliability is distinct from credibility.


A preference or an inclination, often one that inhibits impartial judgment.

A particular tendency, feeling, or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned.

Confirmation Bias

Seeking and/or interpreting information that is congruent with one’s beliefs or bias or understanding.  Often done  subconsciously and by ignoring inconsistent/contradictory information.

Motivated Reasoning  (directional reasoning)

Finding and using evidence to support a pre-held belief.  Contrasted with reasoning for accuracy in knowledge.  Illogical constructs of motivated reasoning might be considered rationalization.

Critical Thinking (Analysis)

A mode of thinking that applies discerning judgement based on standards (evidence, credibility, reliability, bias… ) for analyzing, assessing and formulating one’s thoughts.

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