Synopses & Reviews
“In this book, Linda Elder and Richard Paul provide nothing less than a psychological GPS system for mental clarity. If you’ve ever dreamt about being more effective, more balanced, and more content with life, follow this step-by-step program. It’s amazing!”
—Dr. Joe Luciani, Bestselling Author of Self-Coaching: The Powerful Program to Beat Anxiety and Depression
“…the all important skill of learning how to think is still a lost art. This makes the work of Linda Elder and Richard Paul vital to the progress of our democratic society. Buy this book, change your life, and in the process make the world a safer and saner place to live.”
—Dr. Michael Shermer, Publisher of Skeptic magazine; Author of Why People Believe Weird Things
“Critical thinking, the skill so ably taught in this book, is the solution to much of our emotional pain. Our minds are literally creating our lives. And often our minds sabotage us with faulty, distorted thinking. The result: bad choices and emotional disorders. If you want to change your life, it starts with changing how you think; this book will give you the tools.”
—Dr. Matthew McKay, Author of Mind and Emotions
“One of the qualities that sets us apart from thinking creatures of other species is our ability—if we choose to use it—to ‘think about our thinking.’ In this substantial, clear, and easy-to-read book …readers are offered stimulating descriptions, definitions, principles, and suggestions for understanding and using thinking in effective ways to experience a better quality of life.”
—Dr. Debbie Joffe Ellis, Psychologist; Coauthor of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy
“30 Days to Better Thinking and Better Living Through Critical Thinking is a manifesto for approaching life and relationships assertively, for thinking clearly and fairly, and for uncovering your own biases and vulnerabilities to the persuasive tactics of others—a hands-on approach to helping anyone who wants to see the world around them more fairly and clearly.”
—Dr. Karen E. Dill, Author of How Fantasy Becomes Reality
“This small, easily readable book contains wisdom hard won during the two authors’ dedicated and decades-long efforts to develop and communicate their conception of critical thinking, a conception that has rightly been very influential.”
—Dr. Frank Fair, Sam Houston State University, Managing Editor of INQUIRY: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines
“There is much to gain from reading books written by Linda Elder and Richard Paul. This book carries on their tradition of elevating our thinking into the stratosphere while keeping our feet planted firmly on practical ground.”
—Dr. Don Ambrose, Editor, The Roeper Review
“A comprehensive and effective blueprint for getting one’s thoughts on straight through the application of a proven intellectual concept to the practicalities of daily living. A critical thinking classic.”
—George Hanford, President Emeritus, The College Board
Critical thinking can transform your thinking and improve every part of your life! Now, in just 30 days, you can begin to master specific, easy-to-learn techniques that will help you cut through lies, gain insight, and make smarter choices in every area of your life—from work and money to your most intimate relationships.
World-renowned critical thinking experts Linda Elder and Richard Paul show you how to overcome poor thinking habits caused by self-deception or out-of-control emotions...clarify what you really want...recognize what you don’t know...ask better questions...resist manipulation...and critically evaluate what you’re told by advertisers, politicians, your colleagues, or even your family.
Each day, you’ll focus on a specific critical thinking concept. You will learn practical strategies for bringing powerful ideas into the fabric of your life, into your daily routines. Day by day, you’ll chart your progress—as you move deliberately toward sharper focus, deeper insight, and a more reasonable way of living.
Learn how to think clearly
Learn to think for yourself (using disciplined thought)
Don’t let the media brainwash you—and don’t let anyone else do it either
Overcome ignorance and hypocrisy
Stop being submissive or domineering toward others
Look underneath words to unspoken realities
Permeate your thinking with relevance, reason, integrity, fairness, and mercy
Recognize when questions are calling for facts, preferences, or judgments
Take control of your emotional life
Get past worrying, conformism, and blame
Keep improving your thinking—for the rest of your life!
Better critical thinking can transform your life and help you improve every decision you make! Now, in just 30 days, master specific, easy-to-learn critical thinking techniques that help you cut through lies, gain insight, and make smarter choices in every area of your life -- from work and money to intimate relationships. World-renowned critical thinking experts Dr. Linda Elder and Dr. Richard Paul show how to overcome poor thinking habits caused by self-delusion or out-of-control emotions... clarify what you really want... recognize what you don’t know… ask better questions... resist brainwashing, manipulation, and hypocrisy... critically evaluate what you’re told by advertisers, politicians, your boss, and even your family… avoid worrying, conformism, and blame. Every day, you'll focus on a specific thinking habit, mastering practical strategies for achieving results, tracking your progress, gaining confidence, and getting smarter! Expanded, improved, and easier to use, Discover the Power of Critical Thinking, Revised and Expanded edition offers today's most complete, practical plan for using critical thinking to build a better life. This edition adds five new "days" of critical thinking workouts, delivering even more powerful "life improvement" ideas. Brand-new illustrations and diagrams help you see the direct relevance of critical thinking in your own life, and you'll find a practical new introduction to the authors' Paul-Elder Framework for Critical Thinking, which is now being used by critical thinkers worldwide!
About the Author
Dr. Linda Elder is an educational psychologist, executive director of the Center for Critical Thinking, and president of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. She is highly published and has a special interest in the relationship between cognition and effect, or thought and emotion. She has developed an original theory of the stages of critical-thinking development. She is a major keynote presenter at the International Conference on Critical Thinking, is highly sought after as a speaker, and is a recognized leader in critical thinking.
Dr. Richard Paul is founder of the Foundation for Critical Thinking and director of Research and Professional Development at the Center for Critical Thinking. He is an internationally recognized authority on critical thinking, with nine books and more than 200 articles on the subject. His views on critical thinking have been canvassed in The New York Times, Education Week, The Chronicle of Higher Education, American Teacher, Reader’s Digest, Educational Leadership, Newsweek, and U.S. News and World Report.
The works of Linda Elder and Richard Paul have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Chinese, Turkish, Greek, Thai, and Korean. The growing demand for translations into increasing numbers of languages testifies to the emerging international recognition of the importance of critical thinking in human life. It is a testament to the contributions of Paul and Elder to the growing field of critical thinking studies.
The Foundation for Critical Thinking seeks to promote essential change in society through the cultivation of fairminded critical thinking, thinking predisposed toward intellectual empathy, intellectual humility, intellectual perseverance, intellectual integrity, and intellectual responsibility. In a world of accelerating change, intensifying complexity, and increasing interdependence, critical thinking is now a requirement for economic and social survival. Contact the Foundation for Critical Thinking at www.criticalthinking.org.
Table of Contents
Day One: Discover Your Ignorance 47
Day Two: Strive to Be a Person of Integrity: Beware of Your Own Hypocrisy 51
Day Three: Empathize with Others 55
Day Four: Deliberately Target Your Purposes 57
Day Five: Don’t Be a Conformist: Think for Yourself 61
Day Six: Clarify Your Thinking 67
Day Seven: Be Relevant: Stick to the Point 71
Day Eight: Be Reasonable 73
Day Nine: Ask Deep Questions 77
Day Ten: Distinguish Among Questions of Fact, Preference, and Judgment 81
Day Eleven: Think Through Implications 87
Day Twelve: Distinguish Inferences from Assumptions 91
Day Thirteen: Don’t Be Fooled by the Words People Use: Look Underneath Words to Unspoken Realities 97
Day Fourteen: When You Think You Have Arrived as a Critical Thinker, Think Again 103
Day Fifteen: Be Fair, Not Selfish 107
Day Sixteen: Get Control of Your Emotions 111
Day Seventeen: Take Control of Your Desires 115
Day Eighteen: Don’t Dominate Others: Don’t Be a Top Dog 119
Day Nineteen: Don’t Be Submissive: Don’t Be an Underdog 123
Day Twenty: Don’t Be Brainwashed by the News Media 127
Day Twenty-One: Carefully Choose the Ideas You Take in from Television, Ads, Movies, and the Internet 131
Day Twenty-Two: Don’t Be Bamboozled by Politicians 135
Day Twenty-Three: Don’t Be a Blamer 139
Day Twenty-Four: Don’t Be Righteous: Show Mercy 143
Day Twenty-Five: Vow to Spend No Time Worrying 147
Day Twenty-Six: Be a Citizen of the World 151
Day Twenty-Seven: Do Something, Anything, to Help Make the World Better 155
Day Twenty-Eight: See Your Development Occurring in Stages 157
Day Twenty-Nine: Educate Yourself 163
Day Thirty: Figure Out Where to Go from Here 167
Reading Backwards 171
Recommended Readings to Augment the Strategies 173
Appendix: Glossary of Terms 177