Cultural Influences On Thinking Habits Essay.
The effect of culture on critical thinking has been documented in literature. Some scholars have said that critical thinking itself has a cultural bias. This is evident in the way and manner different cultures interpret the questions that lead up to the arrival of a decision by the critical thinking process (Foundation for Critical thinking, 2011).
There are several impediments to critical thinking. Cultural conditioning is one of them. Cultural conditioning is the process whereby the attributes and values of a society are passed from one member to the other (Dailey et al, 2007). Cultural conditioning plays an important role in the way people reason and makes decisions. It is largely based on assumptions that members of that society belief (Elder, 1996). It may be in form of customary beliefs or social norms and values. These assumptions eventually become part of the individual so much that they are probably not aware of it any longer (Foundation for Critical thinking, 2011). For example, my African-American colleague would certainly not agree that her beliefs wrong because they do not conform to critical reasoning. This is because she was brought up in an African society that so much cherishes the ‘wisdom of the elders’. Africans do not readily challenge higher authorities. They do not ask too many questions. They just accept what has been told to them. These attributes, however, do not conform to that of critical thinking.
Critical thinking on the other hand requires being objective, eliminating all emotion and impartially examining available evidence to arrive at a particular conclusion. (Elder, 1996)Cultural Influences On Thinking Habits Essay.
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It involves putting aside all preconceptions and biases about the topical issue. (Dailey et al, 2007)
In my own culture, it is quite normal for a higher authority to be questioned. It is expected that whoever makes any decision should have a good reason for doing so and because of that, the individual must be able to provide good reasons for their decisions when questioned. However, my co-worker of African origin would not agree with this. She comes from a culture that does not usually question a higher authority. This causes her to dogmatically follow rules and regulations, including the orders of superiors without recourse to anyone about the reason why things are being done in that particular way. My own culture encourages me to always be confident of my reasoning abilities. It also encourages creativity always. Also, in my culture, it is quite normal to be inquisitive. My culture also encourages me to seek the truth, even if it differs from my personal beliefs. However, my colleague is more reserved in these regards. Although she is confident in her reasoning ability, she is more reserved and does not go out of her way to express her creativity. She is very rigid and does not readily change her expectations. She also tends to stick to her personal beliefs even if they are different from the truth.
A patient from another culture is also likely to answer these questions differently from the way I have answered them. Considering the fact that the patient is the client and is in need of care, he/she would expect the caregivers to always be confident in their reasoning ability. The client would expect the caregivers to be creative and generally reflect on the actions they take in the process of caring. All these attributes of critical thinking would have a bearing on the outcome of the patient. Because of this, the expectations of the patient are different from that of the care givers (Dailey et al, 2007).Cultural Influences On Thinking Habits Essay.
In conclusion, it can be deduced that cultural biases are impediments to the application of critical thinking to the care of clients (Foundation for Critical thinking, 2011). It is important for the individual to shelve all cultural biases and preconceptions in order to take decisions based on critical thinking.Cultural Influences On Thinking Habits Essay.
Betial Asmerom, a fourth-year medical student at the University of California-San Diego, didn’t have the slightest interest