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There is a growing knowledge base in understanding the differences and similarities between women and men, as well as the diversities among women and sexualities. Although genetic and biological characteristics define human beings conventionally as women and men, their experiences are contextualized in multiple dimensions in terms of gender, sexuality, class, age, ethnicity, and other social dimensions. Beyond the biological and genetic basis of gender differences, gender intersects with culture and other social locations which affect the socialization and development of women across their life span. This handbook provides a comprehensive and up-to-date resource to understand the intersectionality of gender differences, to dispel myths, and to examine gender-relevant as well as culturally relevant implications and appropriate interventions. Featuring a truly international mix of contributors, and incorporating cross-cultural research and comparative perspectives, this handbook will inform mainstream psychology of the international literature on the psychology of women and gender.
Critical thinking impacts many outcomes in our everyday lives, from making trivial decisions about whether or not to forward a news story on Facebook to making important decisions about which cancer treatment to undergo. This chapter defines critical thinking and gives readers a list of critical thinking skills and dispositions to aspire to. Outcomes in numerous domains of life such as science, health, education, politics, and social media, and how those outcomes might be impacted by critical thinking, are discussed. The chapter also touches on contemporary issues, such as echo chambers, which might limit thinking and the deep comprehension of important issues.
The ways in which women and men differ in intelligence and specific cognitive abilities are among psychology’s most heated controversies. Massive amounts of data show that although there are some on average differences in specific cognitive abilities, there is considerable overlap in the male and female distributions. There are no sex differences in general intelligence – standardized IQ tests were written to show no differences, and separate assessments that were not written with this criterion show no differences in general intelligence. There are more males in some categories of mental disability that are genetically linked, but there are no genetic explanations for differential achievement at the high end of the distributions. Average between-sex differences on specific cognitive abilities – notably reading and writing (female advantage) and some mathematical and visuospatial abilities (male advantage) – often show considerable cross-cultural variation in effect size. Additionally, there have been changes over time so that any conclusions about this controversial topic that we make today may need to be revised in the future.
Contemporary politics provides numerous examples in which people fail to use critical thinking skills. There are many obstacles to critical thinking including, overconfidence, obsession with fantasies, and disregard for the truth, among others. To help students develop their critical thinking skills, universities need to be sure that critical thinking is being taught and that it is valued. Instructors need to use real-life examples that are relevant to their students’ lives, and teach students to recognize and overcome the many obstacles to critical thinking. Individuals can improve how they think about political issues by listening to diverse viewpoints, becoming informed about political issues, rewarding politicians who compromise to reach a goal, breaking down echo chambers, and valuing evidence-based thinking.
We define critical thinking in several different ways that converge on the same basic idea. It is a combination of skills, attitude, and knowledge. To think critically about any topic, one needs a deep knowledge of the topic and the propensity to apply the appropriate thinking skills. These skills can be taught (and learned) in ways that transfer to different topics, but it is not easy or automatic. Instructors need to teach for transfer deliberately. Personality traits such as a concern for truth, being analytic, and being open to new ideas are some of the traits of critical thinkers. Creativity has been defined as creating something that is unusual and useful. It is a special case of critical thinking. The rules for scientific reasoning, avoiding bias, resisting persuasion, and so on are universal, thus we conclude that although culture is always important, the skills for critical thinking are the same everywhere.
Good scientific research depends on critical thinking at least as much as factual knowledge; psychology is no exception to this rule. And yet, despite the importance of critical thinking, psychology students are rarely taught how to think critically about the theories, methods, and concepts they must use. This book shows students and researchers how to think critically about key topics such as experimental research, statistical inference, case studies, logical fallacies, and ethical judgments. Using updated research findings and new insights, this volume provides a comprehensive overview of what critical thinking is and how to teach it in psychology. Written by leading experts in critical thinking in psychology, each chapter contains useful pedagogical features, such as critical-thinking questions, brief summaries, and definitions of key terms. It also supplies descriptions of each chapter author's critical-thinking experience, which evidences how critical thinking has made a difference to facilitating career development.
It often seems that trouble finds me when I am not paying attention. Like many faculty, I am often asked to chair a wide variety of undergraduate theses – often on topics in which I have very little expertise. Several years ago, a bright student wanted to explore the variables that influence assimilation in a group of immigrants that had been largely ignored by psychologists, probably because the group is not large. She did a terrific job getting a subject pool together, especially given that it meant ferreting out participants from around the country. In her first study, she used a scale that was widely used and appeared in many publications; its popularity was probably because the scale had reasonable psychometric properties and there were few alternatives beside writing one’s own scale and then testing its properties – which can be a study in its own right. Encouraged by success in her first study, the undergraduate conducted a follow-up study, this time modifying the scale slightly so that it was more directly related to the specific life experiences of this understudied group. I believed that although the results were not groundbreaking, they would be interesting to scholars in assimilation and cross-cultural adaptation and would extend the psychological knowledge about this small group.
The outstanding student researcher was a senior at the time and wanted to apply to selective graduate programs. Thus, it was important for her personal success that she publish her study. As most readers probably know, graduate admissions committees value publications because they provide evidence that the student applicant can conduct solid research. Of course, the student was first author because it was her idea, and she did all of the real work. I commented on various drafts and made sure that the study conformed to all of the usual ethical requirements of psychological research, including approval from the Institutional Review Board and informed consent from participants.