Respondents are also far more likely to engage with informal, non-vetted sources for information, and just under 40 percent say they regularly read blogs instead of institutional publications like newspapers.
But few engage in the practice, and less than a quarter of respondents actually seek out views that challenge their own.
But despite the need for more critical thinking, our institutions have not done nearly enough to give students richer thinking tools.
In too many schools, critical thinking is not taught to young people.
With that in mind, the foundation recently commissioned a survey, which will be conducted each year in an attempt to better understand shifts in the public’s views on critical thinking and what it means for the future of society.
While the public believes that critical thinking is crucial, most people believe that schools do not do enough to prepare young people to think more effectively.And around 27 percent use only one source of information while making a decision.The lack of critical thinking skills is particularly apparent online.Many respondents report engaging in practices that don’t show much critical thinking.For instance, we found that 47 percent of them don’t typically plan where they will obtain information while doing research.Many do not do enough to question the accuracy of social media.People believe the accuracy of more than a third of what they read on Twitter and Facebook, for instance.Researcher Heather Butler recently conducted a study that found “critical thinkers experience fewer bad things in life.”According to Butler, good critical thinkers are far less likely to foreclose on a home or carry large credit card balances, while those without strong critical thinking skills are more likely to have an extramarital affair and drink while driving.What’s more, there’s plenty of evidence that our democracy is fraying because of a lack of reflective thought.About 48 percent of parents surveyed say that they (the parents) should be responsible for teaching critical thinking.Another 41 percent believe that educators should be responsible for teaching young people about how to think critically.