Are younger people really any better at thinking critically than their parents or grandparents? -

saralovesjuicyfruit

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I got to thinking about that cringey show Adam Ruins Everything. Apparently podcasts, talk shows, etc. have the host (Adam Conover) on sometimes to debate or discuss topics that are in the news or covered on the show like he's an expert, but he's just the 'face' of the show. A team of writers and producers just tell him what to say and he memorizes the lines and says them. Thinking that he is an expert on these subjects is like thinking Alex Trebek is smart because he always knows all the right answers on Jeopardy. The funny thing is though, there are people who think that about Alex Trebek, and it's precisely why he's the spokesperson for those companies that sell things like life insurance and identity theft protection to old people. Senior citizens have watched Jeopardy for years and they see him as an intelligent, trustworthy person because he always has the correct answers on the show. In this same way, back when I was still on Facebook, I'd see people on my friend list (almost all were millennials, as am I) share clips from Adam Ruins Everything in place of developing and conveying their own thoughts on a subject. (Another thing about that show is that they occasionally run episodes where they call out things "Adam" has gotten wrong in previous episodes. Personally I think it's likely they make minor errors on purpose so that they can come back and make those 'correction episodes' to give the illusion that they're not above checking themselves, but I digress).

For the past 30-40 years or so, schools have stressed the importance of teaching "critical thinking skills" and they've claimed to develop the curriculum with this goal in mind. It seems like the dominant narrative is that people of the boomer generation and older are more likely to blindly believe something because it's on TV, or to be less adept at "critical thinking", but is that really true? Has critical thinking education really helped?
 

No Exit

Bronze Medal Racist
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No, every generation thinks they're better than the last one.
It seems like the dominant narrative is that people of the boomer generation and older are more likely to blindly believe something because it's on TV, or to be less adept at "critical thinking", but is that really true? Has critical thinking education really helped?
Replace TV with Youtube, social media or online "news" sources and you have the exact same issue with millennials. People are just gullible retards who think everyone but them is an easy to trick fool.
 

NerdShamer

kiwifarms.net
Remember, even Conover's team occasionally gets stuff wrong. In fact, they did it enough times, that they made an episode about it.
 

WarJams

kiwifarms.net
>For the past 30-40 years or so, schools have stressed the importance of teaching "critical thinking skills" and they've claimed to develop the curriculum with this goal in mind.
On what planet?

Schools are all about standardized testing now, and have been for a generation or two.
 

Chilson

kiwifarms.net
Critical thinking is literally just a meaningless buzzword at this point due to its overuse in schools/jobs. The reality is that its not something that can be taught, but learned through real life experience. Get fucked over enough times and you begin to start "thinking critically" about why some dude called you up for a once in a lifetime deal, or about that job that where you "decide" your income with no prior experience required, why the news always warns you about a problems that don't exist, etc. etc.

Some people are mental midgets who can't or won't learn this seemingly simple lesson. But generally the older you get and the more you experience the more likely you are to eventually start to actually think critically.

So no, younger people are not better at critical thinking. They sure as fuck understand technology better though due to experiencing all their lives, which does provide marginal protection from the bullshit scams that so many old people who didn't grow up with it and struggled to learn about fall for.
 

TalmudSperg

New Zealander & Agriculturalist
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they are worse.
people have to be taught to think.
a good course in philosophy is a start, and in today's physical materialist
culture, philosophy is kind of hated. it's STEM or nothing.
people care more about a good job, than how to think.
 
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Richard Harrow

“Look, fat, look, here's the deal...”
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I think it's more of an even playing field than we would like to think. Every generation seems to be best adapted to the social and technological advances of their respective eras. However, with prolonged exposure to 'the good ol days,' it tends to hinder further endeavors to further adapt to the advances of the next generation as people get set in their ways. It's like asking a boomer to figure out the internet or simply how a computer works or how to not sperg on social media about how the current generation is 'shit.' Now in turn, ask a millennial or gen z kid to do a simple tune-up on their vehicle (or simply change a fucking tire without staring blankly at their smartphone in one hand whilst holding a tire iron in the other). This isn't a knock on the current generation, it's just the knowledge of the past is more or less a bygone necessity with today's innovations, much of which serve as a replacement for the things many had to learn back in the day.
 

wtfNeedSignUp

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Young people are universally worse in critical thinking. Fucking Shakespeare already pointed this out in Romeo and Juliet. The best way to learn how to think is having life experience and responsibilities - young people have neither so they follow around dangerous ideologies who are self contradictory, with the self masturbatory notion that counter culture means you are smarter than others
Ask yourself why modern culture, espoused by corporations, is about keeping people with the mentality of a child as long as possible.
 

SickNastyBastard

Alpha Jacob Sockness Slaying Sweet Man Ass
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If by critical thinking you mean indoctrinated, then yea. Other than computer science stuff, I don't think teens/college kids are critical thinkers. I mean, I think they were taught not to critically think though. So I can't be mad.
 

Unassuming Local Guy

Friendly and affectionate
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We are in what is objectively the apex of information availability for humanity, and it's only going up. It's not even close. Nearly every literate person on the planet (who doesn't live in China) has access to the sum of humanity's knowledge in their palms of their hands. There is absolutely zero reason to allow your world view to be broadcast to you by a small handful of people and just hope they're telling the truth. Zero.

And yet that's all anyone does. They go to Twitter and take assertions made by actual retards at face value because they have a lot of followers. They turn on the TV and let Generic "Funny" Personality tell them what to think without questioning it even for a second. They listen to podcasts where unqualified idiots say what they want to hear, reinforcing their own biases.

The modern world is an intellectual Elysium, with knowledge so bountiful you can simply reach out, grab randomly at whatever is in reach, and be satiated for months without ever having even to stand up. Yet somehow the inhabitants of this field manage to be so lazy and stupid that they starve to death.
 

DavieJones714

i read it for the articles
kiwifarms.net
Marketing and advertising. They don't use Trebek in comercials bc he's some kind of encyclopedia. He is familiar to almost everybody and he's old. You won't see him in a Pampers' commercial. But, you might see John Legend. Because he knows diapers? No, because he's familiar to many and he relates to baby making age groups. Pretty sure Bush left critical thinking behind a long time ago. US public schools and most charter schools make workers who can endure eight hours of unthinking labor.
 

Marco Fucko

I fantasized about this back in Chicago
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90% of the human race is too stupid to think for themselves, regardless of age or other factors. They plug in to their preferred mouthpiece and parrot those talking points as a social echolocation for friends and enemies, just the same as any corporate brand.

That being said I'd think the peak of potential critical thought is "middle age", where you have the experience of youth and a career behind you and you haven't started degenerating into dementia.
 
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Maurice Caine

A New Note in Music
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No, every generation thinks they're better than the last one.

Replace TV with Youtube, social media or online "news" sources and you have the exact same issue with millennials. People are just gullible retards who think everyone but them is an easy to trick fool.
Well son, millennials did so bad that I'm convinced that I'm better than them. Change my mind.
 

DrunkJoe

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The younger people lack the hardships and experience to think critically. Millenials are honestly really bad at it as a generation. Their generation was given participation trophies and didn't learn what loosing is. If most of your life you got what you wanted and didnt suffer and put in the work your critical thinking abilities are not the same.
 
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