Media Psych Studies

A portfolio of work for media psychology research

The Evolution of Critical Thinking



Researching the nature of critical thinking leads you to a number of different roads, including the evolution of context, definitions of facts, etc. This often asks you to contemplate the battle between nature versus nurture in relation to the development of belief systems. Occasionally defined through it’s original Buddhist principles, others like proclaimed expert Richard Paul have taken a more marketable but thorough approach to it’s meaning. From participating in peer discussions, I deduct that critical thinking is an always developing train of thought that cannot begin without an earnest acknowledgement that there is always room for intellectual growth. It is a mentally systematic process that matures with the subject so long as that subject continues to utilize the use of questions, expanding their wealth of knowledge. This cohesively blends within the scope of media psychology because this practice arms you with the ability to identify data constructed in the absence of quality information interpretation.


The ability to think critically is not something one can just jump into. But rather as Paul accurately states, this skill “requires an extended period of development.”  We exercise our brain through the practice of defining our own personal perceptions, biases, etc. Think of critical thinking as the p90x for your brain, working to debunk egocentrism.


Today we live in an instant gratification age where laziness is permitted via the immediacy of information provided by new and social media. Patience is crucial in critical thinking. Biases are examples of how using your brain as a quickdraw can create a flat belief system lacking depth and practice. Paul labels the requisites (or brain exercises) for critical thinking development as follows:

Stage ONE The Unreflective Thinker Unaware of significant problems in thinking
Stage TWO The Challenged Thinker Aware of problems in our thinking
Stage THREE The Beginning Thinker Attempt to improve but without regular practice
Stage FOUR The Practicing Thinker Recognize the necessity of regular practice
Stage FIVE The Advanced Thinker Advance in accordance with our practice
Stage SIX The Master Thinker Skilled & insightful thinking become second nature

These steps coincide directly with a similar ideology founded from ancient Greek philosopher Socrates.To paraphrase a statement derived from him, “a man who knows something knows that he knows nothing at all…wisdom starts with wonder and an admittance of one’s ignorance.”

Screen Shot 2013-08-17 at 9.27.47 PMAnd this practice is one that can and should be applied within media psychology.


Media psychology provides a tool to identify and understand the ramifications of underdeveloped images on different cultures.  By focusing on the intent and target of any product, I could advance my thinking and acknowledge that there are things in this world that I may never understand. That fact will only manifest as technology continues to advance. If our thinking never evolved, I as a Black female would not be where I am today. We still presently have societal issues that force our leaders to use the noted critical thinking procedures (GLBT rights, immigration, health care, etc.) The process of interpreting all information is crucial. But as long as we teach each other to be humble, ask the necessary questions, and remain open to change, then our critical thinking mindset can evolve with the rest of the world and it’s technologies.


Critical Thinking. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 15, 2013 from

Elder, L., & Paul, R. (2011). Critical Thinking in Everyday Life: 9 Strategies. The Critical Thinking Community. Retrieved from

Socrates. (n.d.). In Wikipedia.  Retrieved August 18, 2013 from


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This entry was posted on 08/18/2013 by in PSY 700 and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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