MCAT 2015: Logic and Critical Thinking Pt 1

well hello everybody and welcome back to the air cat club this is our weekly call for monday december 16 2013 my name is Donna Osborne I am the host of BN tech club your favorite holiday is fast upon it so I hope you have a great holiday and that you get to spend time with your loved ones in case you haven't heard before the mcat club is the place to go for up-to-date information about the mcat studying for the mcat mcat prep techniques and we even answer your mcat related questions why you're on the call you can find the mcat club at at quarter calm as well as most explosive are on youtube and i'm on twitter and google+ and whatever the next favorite thing is going to be as a medical school mrs. expert and coach I work with amazing students who really want to get into medical school but there might be stuck where they feel uncertain about parts of your application and they really want to understand how to position themselves kind of package themselves and market themselves to medical schools so my job is to help you become a much better version of yourself with regard to your medical school application process and as such I promise to be the most hopeful helpful encouraging uplifting advisor that you'll ever meet so as you know the mcat is undergoing some quite massive changes and only 12 short months students would be facing a much longer in a very different test than the one that we see today so I want this call to be the first of a two-part series really talking through how to rethink and prepare for mcat 2015 today I'll be spending a little bit of time talking about the basics of critical thinking and then next week I've invited my special guests Kevin data plus of the critical thinker academy and Kevin will be talking with me about the more advanced critical thinking strategies and I hope I can get him to get you guys access to Louisville disco on his online courses on critical thinking on both you to me and at the critical thinker academy ok so that's what I'm looking forward to next week but today I promise to that way to go through some of the basics of critical thinking so I want to start by if you will simplifying you know the world of critical thinking clinical reasoning logic and reasoning into those pieces that are much more typical of mcat verbal reasoning tactics and strategy so let's get right into it so first I'll let me introduce three different kinds of reasoning there is something called symbolic logic and you may have taken a class at symbolic logic like I did so to refresh you symbolic logic is the application of symbols to the forms of logical argument meaning you kind of take an algebraic approach to logical reasoning you find the particular piece of a logical reasoning it's a pretty standardized piece to form that you can rely upon so you stick them variable a stick of value some kind of a symbol in place there so that it can hold that civil holds represents what that particular piece of reasoning is emke does not really rely upon symbolic logic nor does it demand a symbolic logic approach from you so that one's easy to get rid of it the other types of want to talk about today are deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning so let's start with deductive reasoning I called abductive reasoning the Sherlock Holmes technique you may have heard of differential diagnosis or D DX and medicine ok well the Sherlock Holmes technique deductive reasoning is really built in the same way as the Fertile diagnosis fact sir arthur conan doyle the writer who wrote the sherlock holmes series was a doctor so his reasoning system will i'm very much on his training as a physician so productive reasoning means this you know pretending you're Sherlock Holmes and you've got 10 suspects you systematically eliminate each suspect one of the time until whoever is left over no matter how unlikely or improbable it is is the guilty party now in just as an aside for your own curiosity differential diagnosis is a little bit different because of course there's multiple possible causes for any particular symptom so you know what you're really trying to do is just you're trying to eliminate as many different possible categories Vilnius so you can just Whittle it down to okay so it's probably going to be in this group of illnesses that would explain this symptom okay and then you treat that and you know this is probably more efficient to cater no but you treat that if you're right patient gets better if you're wrong you'd give up in front of one okay then there is inductive reasoning on this is where the mcat get to split its bread-and-butter in festive reasoning asks you to take facts and from them form generalized principles and this is very tricky because of a host of logical fallacies that you've heard of part the whole problem slippery slope at hominem attack the man pluggable all these different logical problems come into play and the mcat likes to toy with some of those issues so inductive reasoning is where you really want to spend your time effort and energy in order to make the most sense of what the mcat is asking you to understand okay so now that you know what the mcat is testing next question comes and how do you prepare for it well I personally really like as a way of understanding the whole process of reasoning you know you've already heard people say you know you need to read and you know blah blah read this publication read this newspaper read this magazine oh the new york times you know the opinion pieces of the greatest thing up oh you got to read The Economist whatever areas but you know I feel like I have started some of those beliefs you know 15 years ago but you know what i really like right now I like it if due to find the program I like it if you learn the basics of computer programming and you pick a language doesn't have to be a complicated language it could be something simple like JavaScript or you know even learning how to work with HTML and CSS just those things alone will give you such feedback on structure of thought and how to understand you know just what does step-by-step logic feels like and how if you will rigid or specific you have to stay in order to really keep the the facts straight and not over generalize to principles that go beyond the context of the passage I think that is a great way of learning to do that

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