Critical thinking may be applied to all spheres and processes of life from decision-making to effective communication in people’s lives. However, denial, dissonance, stereotyping, unwarranted emotions as well as assumptions, and poor communication skills are potential barriers to critical thinking (Geertsen, 2013). In Sally’s case, she used multiple types of critical thinking such as avoiding biased opinions, self-centered thinking, and dishonesty as well as different fallacies through her emotions, verbal, and non-verbal communication skills. I believe she made a reasonable argument about why the warranty should be changed to facilitate the customers and made weighed decision not to interact with management and coworkers but rather with the leadership of the company.
Elements of Critical Thinking
Sally’s case shows that over-reliance on emotions, unwarranted assumptions, and conformism were the apparent barriers Sally dealt with through her effective communication skill to meet the needs of the situation. I believe Sally does not portray herself as an effective critical thinker as she did not agree with her colleagues over the issue at work that was causing friction among departments in the company, but she did not say anything. Sally’s non-verbal communication style shows signs of conformity at the dinner when she nodded to be appeared to agree with her friends to avoid confrontation showing that she is thrust into a situation that she seems to be uncomfortable and agitated with. There seems to be a barrier when Sally decided not to spend time with her coworkers again just because she had a different opinion. This shows that she relied on her emotions a lot and her unwarranted emotions are a barrier to her critical thinking which she could overcome through logic and patience.
Reason, Emotion, and Communication
The concept of reason is mainly presented in the scenario when Sally provided the basis for her argument that the printer warranty was inadequate. She collected adequate evidence to support her proposal in front of the company’s leadership and the end process to circumvent an argument through critical thinking was the positive one. Sally’s critical thinking involved passiveness in her communication style when she conformed to the arguments of her co-workers just to avoid confrontation. Moreover, her agitation and exhaustion turned out to be a potential barrier to her critical thinking which led to her inability to understand, assess, or disagree with her co-workers. Later, she proved herself to be an effective critical thinker when she took her argument to the manager who used fallacies to rebuff her. The manager showed ignorance and resistance after hearing all the information backed by proper evidence because he avoided learning the truth. However, Sally succeeded by getting the warranty extended in the end which shows that she proved herself to be an effective critical thinker overcoming the barriers by applying all the elements that were needed to solve an issue like a critical thinker.
Fallacies and Argument
Sally’s case shows a fallacy in her thought process when she turned out to be a quiet and submissive worker in an argumentative situation at dinner. She did not admit that she disagreed with her co-workers or had any solution to overcome the problem departments in the company faced rather she kept quiet and tried to avoid the conflict. The scenario presents a fallacy in this regard as Sally concluded that she did not know enough about the problem or the frictional gap between departments. So, the point of view is not backed up by any argument and is unreasonable. Unwarranted emotions can lead to ignoring logical reasoning and hinder the ability to be an argumentative person and critical thinker (Dwyer, n.d.).
Sally’s example showcases barriers to critical thinking and the elements to overcome those barriers show that a lack of critical thinking can lead to emotional distress. In the presented scenario, Sally’s barriers to critical thinking included over-reliance on emotions, conformism, and unwarranted assumptions which prevented her to make reasonable conclusions when she was with her co-workers. A person who cannot fathom the situation through good reasoning and critical thinking skills remains unable to take weighed decisions in his life as lack of critical thinking resulted in fallacies in Sally’s thought process. In a nutshell, critical thinking can enhance all areas of one’s life from personal to professional space and engages in the enhancement of independent and reflective thinking.
Dwyer, C. (n.d.). 5 Barriers to Critical Thinking.
Geertsen, R. (2013). BARRIERS TO CRITICAL THINKING ACROSS DOMAINS. 6(20), 10.