Case Study for Critical Thinking
Michael crashed through the door of his apartment and slammed it. ???I hate women!??? he yelled to his roommate, Karl. Karl asked him what was wrong. Michael sneered, ???I just don??™t understand them. Women. Toni just broke our date for Friday night just because she found out I was drunk out of my mind at the ball game. Don??™t I have a right to have fun sometimes And why should what I do when I??™m out with the boys have anything to do with what goes on between Toni and me??? Karl opened his mouth to say something but Michael raised his right hand, ???Shut it, Karl. Nothing you can say is going to change my mind about this.???
How is Michael responding What is the basis for his arguments
Mike is responding in haste and without considering anything besides his immediate emotional state which is heightened due to the proximity of the event. He is basing his argument solely on the fact that he is right about the situation and no one can tell him otherwise. In his mind, his relationship with his girlfriend is entirely separate from his relationship with his guy friends and that she has no right to base anything to do with them on his actions when he is with his friends.
What kind of critical thinking errors is Michael making
Michael is making many critical thinking errors including analysis of the event, interpretation of the event, avoiding biases, avoiding emotional reasoning, and not considering other interpretations. Michael is viewing the event as a criticism of him as a person. He is also basing his reasoning on his current emotional state and has not given himself time to think through the situation. He has not considered his girlfriend??™s point of view and refuses to listen to his friend??™s advice.
What is another way to look at Michael??™s situation
Michael could look at the situation from both sides. He should be open to criticizing himself and questioning his reasoning. Any person who is good at critical thinking will be open to others points of view and accept that they could not possibly know everything about the situation without listening to the other side and others thoughts. He could think through the reason his girlfriend was upset and talk to her about why she is upset and share his feelings of his time he needs with his friends.
Three Fallacies noted:
Straw Man: He is disregarding Toni??™s standpoint on the situation and replacing it with a distorted view that she is criticizing his time with his friends and has no right to do this.
Appeal to Spite: He is using his spite in place of real evidence when he states he hates women. His feelings of spite do not count as evidence.
Appeal to Ridicule: He is using ridicule of women and his girlfriend??™s statement to claim he has evidence of why he hates women and why his girlfriend has no grounds to make any statements about his time with his friends. By mocking her cancelling their date and questioning his behavior with his friends, he is not making any sound reasoning that she is in the wrong.