Many researchers suggest that a key characteristic of critical thinking is the ability to recognize one’s own fallibility when evaluating and generating evidence — recognizing the danger of weighing evidence according to one’s own beliefs. The expanding literature on informal reasoning emphasizes the importance of detaching one’s own beliefs from the process of argument evaluation (Kuhn, 2007; Stanovich & Stanovich, 2010).
The emphasis placed on unbiased reasoning processes has led researchers to highlight the importance of decontextualized reasoning. For example (Stanovich & Stanovich, 2010, p. 196):
Kelley (1990) argues that “the ability to step back from our train of thought . . . . is a virtue because it is the only way to check the results of our thinking, the only way to avoid jumping to conclusions, the only way to stay in touch with the facts” (p. 6). Neimark (1987) lumps the concepts of decentering and decontextualizing under the umbrella term detachment. She terms one component of detachment depersonalizing: being able to adopt perspectives other than one’s own. This aspect of detachment is closely analogous to Piaget’s (1926) concept of decentration.”
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