Critical Thinking and Society Exercise

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19 February 2016

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The issue of early morning traffic jams for soldiers trying to make it to physical training (PT) on time is a situation in which critical and creative thought are used for a better outcome. As a former soldier stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, the largest military post in the world with a population of more than 30,000 soldiers (Cubit Planning, Inc, 2013), the early morning commute to PT always has presented the situation of high volume of traffic congestion on the highway leading to the Fort Hood military installation. Another situation that the early morning traffic jam presents is aggressive driving behavior. Soldiers driving to PT with his or her mindset on what would happen if they were late for the first formation of the day and getting in to trouble from the repercussion. Aggressive driving behavior, such as speeding, cutting off other vehicles, and sudden braking seem to increase daily.

In situations like this creative and critical thinking is important, because of the many lives involved in the early morning commute to PT. These types of situations can cause many accidents or the loss of a life. If soldiers think critically and creatively he or she could come up with solutions that could limit the number of traffic jams and accidents. For example, early morning carpooling with other solders from the same community or neighborhood would reduce the amount of vehicles commuting to PT early in the morning.

“Free Will is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives (O’Connor, 2013)”. In a short sense free will is the probability of choices. Truth is “what is so” about something, the reality of the matter, as distinguished from what people believe to be so, or assert to be so (Ruggiero, 2009). Truth is most often used to means in accordance with fact or reality. Knowledge is ideas that correspond to reality. Three ways of obtaining knowledge is through experience, observation, and reports from others. Opinion is a belief about a matter considered subjective based on emotions or the interpretation of facts. An opinion can support an argument even though people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts (Ruggiero, 2009).

We form thoughts through the use of free will, truth, knowledge, and opinion by the choices we make and believe is true from the knowledge of experience supported by the facts of opinions. Thoughts form by free will from the many choices and alternative choices developed in the brain for a course of action. Because of facts and reality, we form thoughts believed true in the process of thinking. The experience we gain from observation, reports, and others allow us to form thoughts of knowledge obtained. Opinions form thoughts from our personal thinking or the way we understand facts about subject matter, issue, situation or argument.

The critical thinking process includes three hindrances: the use of natural habits, resistance to change, self-deception. Natural habits begin in early childhood and are accustom as we grow older. Resistance to change is the tendency to refuse new idea and new ways of seeing or doing without examining them fairly. In self-deception many people mislead themselves about his or her competency, first pretending to others that they are knowledgeable and them coming to believe the pretense themselves. A method of overcoming natural habits is closely examine the first impressions of problem or issue by doing so a person will often be able to determine that a certain habit, resistance to change or self-deception is interfering with his or her thinking (Ruggiero, 2009).

A personal time of experience with hindrance in critical thinking happened while working as an overseas contractor for a new manager who brought along with him many changes to our maintenance program. As the maintenance supervisor the hindrance of resistance to change interfered personal thinking. The method used to overcome the hindrance was to listen to his reasons for change and examine it through personal thinking. After closely examining and investigating his reasoning, it was easy to avoid the hindrance of resistance to change.

A message in advertising shows in the 2013 M&M chocolate commercial when the Red M&M keep repeating that he would do anything for love, but he want do that (You Tube, 2013). First perception of this message was that the Red M&M was in love and believe that he would do anything for love. For example, taking the female shopping and carrying her bags, painting her toe nails after bubble bath, playing along the seashore, or covering his head with a hair piece just for love (You Tube, 2013).

The commercial goes on to show that the Red M&M would not just do anything for love. He would not allow the female to lick his chocolate shell while watching a movie; place him inside a candy piñata. Neither would he sit in a bowl of ice cream covered with whip cream, be the center of a birthday cake always, become melted down inside an oven, or let her girlfriends enjoy the taste of his candy shell coding (You Tube, 2013). The reality of the advertisement is that M&M chocolate candy is irresistible. Distinguishing between perception and reality of the message shows that the Red M&M may think like a man with human emotions, he is still a delightful piece of M&M chocolate candy.

Cubit Planning, Inc. (2013). Texas demographics. Retrieved from O’Connor, Timothy, “Free Will”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2013 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), Retrieved from Ruggiero, V. (2009). The art of thinking: A guide to critical and creative thought (9th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Longman. You Tube. (2013). M&M’s chocolate channel. Retrieved from

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"Critical Thinking and Society Exercise" StudyScroll, 19 February 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). Critical Thinking and Society Exercise [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 5 December, 2023]

"Critical Thinking and Society Exercise" StudyScroll, Feb 19, 2016. Accessed Dec 5, 2023.

"Critical Thinking and Society Exercise" StudyScroll, Feb 19, 2016.

"Critical Thinking and Society Exercise" StudyScroll, 19-Feb-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 5-Dec-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). Critical Thinking and Society Exercise. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 5-Dec-2023]

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