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Principle: Critical thinking is independent thinking, thinking for oneself. Critical thinkers use critical skills and insights to reveal and reject beliefs that are irrational. Nor are they unduly influenced by the language of another. If they find that a set of categories or distinctions is more appropriate than that used by another, they will use it. Recognizing that categories serve human purposes, they use those categories which best serve their purpose at the time. They are not limited by accepted ways of doing things. They evaluate both goals and how to achieve them.
They do not accept as true, or reject as false, beliefs they do not understand. Independent thinkers strive to incorporate all known relevant knowledge and insight into their thought and behavior. They strive to determine for themselves when information is relevant, when to apply a concept, or when to make use of a skill. Principle: Egocentricity means confusing what we see and think with reality. When under the influence of egocentricity, we think that the way we see things is exactly the way things are. The egocentric individual is more concerned with the appearance of truth, fairness, and fairmindedness, than with actually being correct, fair, or fairminded. As people are socialized, egocentricity partly evolves into sociocentricity.
Egocentric tendencies extend to their groups. The individual goes from “I am right! To put this another way, people find that they can often best satisfy their egocentric desires through a group. Group think” results when people egocentrically attach themselves to a group. One can see this in both children and adults: My daddy is better than your daddy!