Many people perceive logic and critical thinking as two sides of the same coin; they are aspects of human thinking that are very closely related. The problem is that if a person’s logic is flawed then their critical thinking will not reach them the appropriate conclusions. It is essential to always be on guard against logical fallacies or letting one’s emotions get the upper hand when it comes to evaluating circumstances that life throws in one’s path. Critical thinking is the process that one can use to ensure that they are following a thread that makes true sense and does not just fulfill the expectations they desire it to meet. The human brain is very good at making cohesive sense out of its perceptions and ideas; the problem is that this cohesion is not always the most accurate or truthful representation of what is really occurring in the world outside the mind.
Take for instance an event where the subject leans on a person who is in a position of authority to inform them of the proper procedure, and circumstances. They have trusted this person to do their job properly and used this information to make critical decisions greatly impacting their future. In modern society the expectation is that professionals have been trained to do their jobs properly and have the best interest of the party they are supposed to help at heart. Yet there are countless examples of when people do not meet these expectations and cause irrevocable hardship in another’s life due to their carelessness.
For example there was a young girl who fell and hurt her leg. She went immediately to the doctor, had x-rays and was put in a leg immobilizer. She returned to the doctor’s office when he told her to and he took the immobilizer off her leg and sent her on her way. The girl thought that she had been given the care that was required and that she had taken the necessary steps to ensure her recovery. Yet, for months she suffered constant pain, and found herself holding on to furniture and counters for support as she tried to walk around. Occasionally she would fall down for no reason. The girl was only 18 and had been active and healthy. She had danced ballet for nearly 15 years so her legs were even unusually strong. She knew she had done as the doctor had said, but obviously she was not better. One day when she fell down her boyfriend took her to the Urgent Care place believing that something was obviously wrong. When there the doctor asked her why she was not wearing her brace. The girl wondered what he was talking about. It turned out that the doctor did not do what he should have and given her a series of braces to help her regain strength and mobility in her leg. This doctor gave her a brace and referred her to another doctor for follow up care.
The follow up doctor sent her to one day’s worth of physical therapy and gave her a different brace a bit later. The girl again listened to the doctor and did as she was told. But she still hurt all the time and sometimes fell down. One day when she saw the doctor she asked why she was falling down. The doctor moved her leg around and told her she did not have a problem because her range of motion was fine. The girl had already learned that sometimes doctors screw up. So she tried another doctor. Now well over a year after the original fall this doctor scheduled an MRI, there was evidence of serious damage to the ligaments and other parts that the original X-rays would not have been able to show. But although the MRI was able to show what had happened to her leg, they had already healed. It was not as good as if the steps were taken properly at first but in theory the girl should be able to work on exercises to get her muscle back and would have a relatively healthy leg.
The girl perceived that each of the doctors that she saw would do what they were supposed to. The girl believed that so long as she listened to what the doctors told her she would be ok. The girl had faith that the doctors knew best and that they wanted to help her get better. What really happened was that each of these doctors made a series of mistakes. The first doctor didn’t do all the evaluations he should have and perhaps that is why he did not give her the tools she needed to get better. The next doctor assumed that the girl did not listen, but ended up helping a lot. The third doctor did not take the girls history into account when evaluating her. All of these factors combined to make the girl wary about trusting people to do their best at their jobs. She also learned that if something doesn’t feel right with a doctor or other professional sometimes you have to try another one.
Due to the fact that this was not by far the only instance of being warned about trusting people to do their job to the best of their ability the girl has become much more proactive in the things that happen to her. Generally if she can do something on her own without trusting another person to do their part she will. She also tends to question the moment something seems off and has no fear of trying a new person or bringing in a higher authority. The girl trusts her own ability to critically think about what should be done, much more than to trust that people will do what is right. She has also become much more skeptical of the competence of many professionals.