CHAPTER 2: REASONING STUDY GUIDE
(use with pp. 64- 89 of the Course Companion)
1. Think about your day (or yesterday). Using the terms as a guide, try to write down all the specific ways you used reasoning.
Today, I made a decision to wake up at 8 a.m. because I recalled through memory that I had a free block during first period. Therefore, through deduction, I calculated that I had extra time during the morning to wake up and get ready. During school, I predicted that I would be too lazy to walk back up the hill from the portables to the high school after my last period class to go to my locker, so I decided that I would bring everything I needed down with me as I walked to my last class. My friend and I generalized and calculated while microwaving our food that because we had two things in it, it would twice the amount of time it would usually take.
2. Curate an article or video on cognitive computing or cognition in general that appeals to you. Perhaps you want to find something that has to do with the relationship between REASONING and other WAYS OF KNOWING (emotions, sense perception, and language).
In the textbook, it was stated that much of our knowledge gained over the years about different aspects of life significantly influences our other ways of knowing. That’s why this video intrigued me; it bring about another component of how our perception of the world is shaped. When we don’t even experience anything in person, somehow we bring the elements of a fictional story we read as a child into our daily lives. Instead of learning from your own sense perception, emotion, and language, you learn remotely and indirectly through the experiences of fictional characters and plots.
3. Think of a GENERALIZATION you have made or heard recently (see pg. 68). Can you describe some examples of harmful generalizations?
I recently heard from someone that “none of my colleges are on the common app,” when three of them were. Those this exaggeration doesn’t really matter and you get the gist of what they mean, it’s a generalization. This type of generalization is not harmful, like stereotyping or discriminatory prejudices. Some examples are when in an argument, you said something like “you ALWAYS do that” or “that’s ALL you do” are harmful because it is not a healthy way to solve a problem or dispute.
4. Make up your own variables (actual words) for P and Q in the DEDUCTIVE REASONING exercise on page 70.
- An “all” statement–“All Asians are smart”, negated by “some Asians are not smart”.
- An “all” statement–“All Asians are smart”, negated by “No Asians are smart.”
- A “some” statement–“Some Asians are smart,” is not negated by “some Asians are not smart.”
- A “no” statement–“No Asian is smart” is negated “some Asians are smart.”
5. What are the 2 KEY ASSERTIONS of deductive reasoning? What is the MAJOR DISTINCTION between “Validity” and “Truth”?
If all premises are true and the argument is valid, then the conclusion must be true. If any statements used as a premise is false, the conclusion will be false–except in cases of lucky accidents. Validity applies to the reasoning process. If the thinking is done correctly, the argument is valid. Truth, however, applies to the content of the statements.
6. Pick up one of your textbooks OR find an article on an online newspaper. Identify its premises and its conclusion. Look for key word hints, such as those located at the top of page 73. Are there any implicit premises (those not stated explicitly but implied)?
The major premise here is that all college students are broke and have horrible eating habits. The minor premise here is that they resort to embarassing tactics, such as mixing weird foods together or stealing pepper from a pizza restaurant in a napkin. Therefore, if you’re a college student, you’re probably completely broke and have to become creative with your food. The major premise of this argument is true for most college students, but not all. Most of the time, students have to pay tuition and boarding, and they don’t have the time or energy to get extra jobs that actually pay them enough to money to eat well, or at least healthily. You could find out by using college statistics and by asking people who have gone through college. The argument is valid because from the experiences of others, I can deduce that this does happen in real life, and to many people. If this minor premise is true, the conclusion isn’t necessarily true. Perhaps you just like to be creative or just want to save money, instead of being broke.
7. Construct your OWN deductive argument or “SYLLOGISM”.
- Premise 1: All high schoolers are stressed.
- Premise 2: I am a high schooler.
- Conclusion: I am stressed.
8. Construct your OWN FALLACY, or invalid deductive argument.
- Premise 1: All high schoolers are stressed.
- Premise 2: My parents are stressed.
- Conclusion: My parents are high schoolers.
9. In your own words, how does INDUCTIVE reasoning differ from deductive reasoning? Can you provide an example of how you personally have used inductive reasoning recently? (see page 76)
Inductive reasoning is when you use specific events and experiences to conclude something, whereas with deductive reasoning you use a general assumption and use that to conclude something. Recently, I observed that the people who come into my work place all say “I’m just looking” when I let them know to ask if they have any questions. Therefore, I can conclude that all customers want some space when browsing.
11. In the last paragraph of page 77, the author states “Much of our knowledge about the natural sciences is based on generalizations backed by repeated observation of phenomena”. Can you provide an example of CLASSICAL induction from your own science courses (group 4)?
In physics class, I recently did an experiment comparing the weight on a pulley system and its impact on the acceleration of the object being pulled. Through repeated trials of increasing the weight and measuring the acceleration using technology, it was concluded that as weight increases, so does the acceleration of the object through the pull of gravity.
12. Try the “random percentage” experiment discussed in the Statistics area of page 78. Type in 3 different random percentages into Google – what do you get? Try to find a statistic with a percentage via Twitter.
- 94% of Americans Blame their computer for inducing stress
- 60% of Thai preschoolers never see a book
- 76% of New College students are dissatisfied with political science professor Keith Fiztergald
13. Find an INFOGRAPHIC that not only offers statistics, but “tells the story” or offers correlations (see page 79)
14. Provide an example of ANALOGICAL REASONING from your own life. How likely are you to trust your own results, on a scale of 0 to 10?
Because it seems as though many people in Hawaii like to surf, I assume they are alike in other ways, such as being outdoorsy or liking paddling. I wouldn’t trust my results that much because I haven’t lived here for a long time and assimilated into the culture as much since I’ve only been around the Le Jardin and Kailua community.
15. Curate a TED TALK (http://www.ted.com ) that highlights the use of CREATIVE REASONING (pg. 82), post and provide a brief overview. (***you might want to check out TED MED at the top)
In this lesson, Sir Ken Robinson discusses how the design of the education system is modeled after the industrial revolution when factories were coming into being. It is an ineffective way of education, and it stifles creativity. This model is outdated and no longer applies to modern day education, where the world has been globalized and runs on innovation in a time of environmental and economic crisis.
18. Look around your bedroom OR your laptop: In what ways do you classify things? What is the method to your madness? Describe some common classifications in the AOKS (Areas of Knowledge, i.e. all your courses). Can you think of an example where technology or advances in science/ newfound “knowledge” has changed the classification system?
I classify things in my room by what I use them for. For example, my school stuff and supplies are where my desk is, and my sleepwear drawer is located next to my bed. Common classifications in the AOKS are the humanities, bunching up history with english, and the sciences, bunching up physics, biology, chemistry, and environmental systems. The Arts are also classified together: drama, visual art, and music. As a result of technology and advancement of using this in science, it may change how concepts are classified. For example, when people discovered how to genetically modify organisms in a lab, this concept became classified as a new scientific way of improving health, instead of just a natural process that happens over thousands of years.
20. Pages 86-7 discuss the dangers of classification, i.e. racism, stereotypes, and other prejudices. Curate a relatively recent article or video that highlights an instance of one of these issues.
This article is showing how the sensitivity towards racism and other prejudices is getting out of hand. Society is growing increasingly sensitive that it’s becoming a little bit ridiculous. If we stopped being so sensitive, we’d pay less attention to the things that divide us, and then we wouldn’t even think about it.
21. What stereotypes, generalizations, or prejudices do you think you have?
I think I have the generalization that students in New York City have a tough high school life because my friends are constantly stressed, have to commute long distances, and don’t get home until 7 or 8 at night because they have to stay afterschool and participate in an assortment of clubs and organizations. They also go to a highly competitive school, so the stakes are a lot higher and it’s harder to get into good colleges since you are simply a number.