Psychological Self-Help

Navigation bar
  Home Print document View PDF document Start Previous page
 92 of 154 
Next page End Contents 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97  

Men's "separate knowing" involves a doubting mind, i.e. critical
thinking, argumentation, and scientific method, and reflects rational
intelligence. Women's "connected knowing" involves a believing mind,
i.e. listening to others' stories, empathizing with their feelings,
experiencing their pain and joy, and reflects experience-based
intelligence. Both male and female ways of knowing (and intelligences)
are critical to learn and use. 
We all remain vaguely aware of our two or more minds because we
know they disagree sometimes, e.g. one of our minds wants the cute,
little sports car (with a miserable repair record) and another mind
wants the practical car recommended by Consumers Report. One mind
worries about things that are very unlikely to happen, repeatedly
compares ourselves unfavorably to others, jumps to the conclusion
that something awful is going to happen, sees doom and gloom
everywhere, etc., while the other mind knows these ideas are probably
wrong (Freeman and DeWolf, 1992). 
One current theory is that many specialized parts have developed
within our brain, each evolved as a reasoning-coping mechanism
during millions of years as hunter-gatherers (Barkow, Cosmides &
Tooby, 1992). Thus, we may have inherited specialized clusters of
nerves that originally aided in foraging for food, that operated when
we were threatened, that directed us in selecting a mate, that guided
us in seeking justice and cooperation, etc. We may even inherit
tendencies to think certain ways and to have certain feelings, drives or
motives, which shape the cultures we develop. Like birds, bees, and all
foraging animals, we humans have remarkable abilities to make sound
probability judgments under certain conditions. However, humans in
today's world may occasionally be misguided by our own mental
mechanisms based on our evolutionary past rather than on current
Teaching critical thinking skills is emphasized in some classes these
days. The general idea is to learn to do what Socrates asked his
students to do, namely, give reasons for their opinions. It is said that
today's students can, if they want to, memorize and recall but can't
interpret, infer, judge, reason or persuade (Benderson, 1984). What
skills are needed for these activities? Many thinking skills methods
have already been described in this book: problem-solving and
decision-making (see chapters 2 and 13), challenging irrational ideas
(see method #3 in this chapter), methods for coping with disruptive
emotions (see chapters 5, 6, 7, 8 & 12), persuasion and negotiation
skills (chapter 13), and a willingness to seriously consider the
purposes of one's life (chapter 3). There are many ways to straighten
out our thinking. 
One of the best sources of thinking skills is an audiocassette
program, Masterthinker, by Edward de Bono from Prentice Hall (or one
of his books, de Bono, 1992 or 1994). As an introduction, he makes
the point that highly intelligent people often think they don't need to
learn thinking skills, their brain is all they think they need. They have
Previous page Top Next page

« Back