Monday, July 02, 2007

Brain Dead and Critical Thinking

You Are 30% Left Brained, 70% Right Brained
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning. Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others. If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic. Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility. Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way. If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art. Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

I have seen this quiz on others' blogs. Depending on the day I take the quiz, I get slightly different breakdowns. Overall, I score between 60-70% right-brained. That is the problem with metrics. They are a snapshot, but far from the whole truth. The fact that I would even bother taking the test several times to gauge the variance attests to either my procrastination skills or my scientific training.

I loved Joel Achenbach's WaPost piece yesterday, Three Cheers for Nervous Handwringing. I am excerpting the list of critical thinking skills, but go read the whole thing.
All of us -- citizens and senators and shopkeepers and scholars -- need to review the principles of "critical thinking." In 1990, psychologists Carole Wade and Carol Tavris listed eight elements of critical thinking:

1. Ask questions; be willing to wonder.
2. Define your problem correctly.
3. Examine the evidence.
4. Analyze assumptions and biases.
5. Avoid emotional reasoning.
6. Don't oversimplify.
7. Consider other interpretations.
8. Tolerate uncertainty.


  1. I am 50-50. But I only took the quiz once. Interesting.

  2. I think I read somewhere that no matter how rational we think we are being when we make a decision, every decision is always an emotional one. For those of us who have studied a musical instrument since childhood, the corpus callosum (the bridge joining the two hemispheres) is larger, indicating that to make music, you use both sides of the brain.

  3. Anonymous15:38

    As I've suspected for a long time, the quiz verifies that I am: no-brained.


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