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Thinking Critically, Seventh Edition
John Chaffee et al.
Additional Chapter Activities
Chapter 5: Believing and Knowing

  1. Authority can often play a crucial role in how we form and maintain our beliefs. That is, our beliefs are often shaped, and then supported, by certain authorities—persons, by their abilities, experiences, or roles, who are presumed to be knowledgeable in a given field. Write a short essay that examines the role of authority in your life as a student. Think specifically about how authority operates in the classroom. Perhaps you are using books that are "authoritative editions." What does this mean? Who is the authority? Consider also how your own education can involve you in becoming an authority in your own right.

  2. Our beliefs can be greatly influenced by advertising and the media. Write a short essay about a time that you developed a belief (or perhaps an expectation) based on advertising but your belief turned out to be incompatible with your direct, personal experience. Was an event advertised on television in a way that did not correspond to your own personal experience of it? (Note that your personal experience could, in fact, have turned out to be better than what you had been led to expect.)


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