Errors In Critical Thinking

2018 Words9 Pages

The aim of this report is to educate students about relevant psychological theories and research that illustrate errors in thinking and why it is important to develop critical thinking skills. We will consider how the three heuristics, representativeness, availability and anchoring can cause errors in judgement that have real world consequences. Then look at how cognitive biases, can affect how people understand their own safety.


Thinking about risks is something we do everyday, and it tends to be something we want to avoid. However, the risk is not the event itself but is the likelihood of that event occurring. For example, a house catching fire is not a risk, the risk is the probability of a house catching, therefore
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Heuristics can be helpful but they do not assure a correct solution to a problem so should not be relied on. There are three heuristics, representativeness, availability and anchoring described by Tversky and Kahneman (1974). The representativeness heuristic is a short cut in which the chance of something happening is based on how representative it seems. An example of this is the gamblers fallacy, if someone were to apply representative thinking to random events such as roulette wheels, they would expect short sequence outcomes to be the same as long sequence outcomes, using this type of thinking when gambling means the person is treating the random event as if it has a memory, this makes it clear to see the gamblers fallacy is illogical (Hardman, 2015, p.62). The next type of heuristic is the availability heuristic which is…show more content…
Ecological validity refers to the extent to which a piece of research reflects the real world context or phenomenon that is being studied (The Open University, 2017). Ecological validity is the effort of researchers to make their studies show both the physical and social worlds in which people interact with. For example, a study that had perfect ecological validity would involve researching the exact phenomenon of interest in the exact same way it happens in real life, while a study with little to no ecological validity would research the phenomenon in a way that had no resemblance to the way it happens in real life, with most experiments falling between these two examples. Ecological validity can be considered a good thing, especially applied areas of psychology like forensic psychology, where the aim of research is not just to observe and explain but to also develop interventions. One reason that not all experiments have a high level of ecological validity is that researchers want to isolate a single part of a process and then study it without the distractions that can come from a complex, real life situation (The Open University, 2017). Next we will look at why ecological validity is important in understanding and designing psychological research in real life situations, by looking at designing a jury
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