Yoesting and Renner (1969) and George (1967) found that general physical science students increased their WGCTA scores over a semester significantly more than non-science students did. Simon and Ward (197U) however, found no difference between art and science students in CT.
Seymour (1973) and Brown (1967) found that chemistry students made greater improvements in CT than non-chemistry high school students. Brubaker (1972) found that students in similar majors had similar CT levels. CT was found to be the most significant common factor among those high school students who persisted in science studies (James, 1972).
Scores on the Test on Understanding Science (TFUS) correlated r=.48--.65 with the WGCTA among high school chemistry students (Troxel & Snider, 1970). As MIU considers itself a science oriented university, we may look for indications of high CT among the student body.
The effect of studying the Science of
(SCI) on CT should be investigated because
studies indicate that
both creativity and intelligence are
involved in CT. Moore (1973)
and Brubaker (1972) found significant
Also in the area of ”general intelligence",
significant correlations between the WGCTA and the Scholastic Aptitude Test
(SAT) were found by James (1972) and Brubaker (1972). Grasz (1977) found
significant correlations between the WGCTA, the Miller Analogy Test (MAT), and
the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) verbal and quantitative
Westbook and Sellers (1967) found correlations of .53 between the WGCTA and the Hennen-Nelson Tests of Mental Maturity, consistent with correlations of .55 between the WGCTA and the Miller Analogy Test (MAT).
Critical thinking ability seems to be very important
to success in technology oriented occupations. Hunt (1973) found CT to be
a good predictor of success in computational science. Hartman (1977) found
that CT explained 43% of the variance in, and is a strong determinant of success
in computer-assisted systems analysis. Hinojosa (1974) found
There is reason to hypothesize that EEG coherence,
higher stages of moral reasoning, and CT may correlate positively. Cruce-Mast
(1975) found that CT correlated significantly with moral decision making as
measured by the Defining Issues Test (DIT), the same test used to
A positive relationship between the development of Maharishi‘s seven states of consciousness, and Piaget's major stages of cognitive development has been investigated
theoretically by Shear (1979). Carlson (1975) found a significant correlation between Piagetian level of thought and scores on the WGCTA. The "formal operation" subjects outperformed the "concrete operation" subjects significantly on the Piagetian Task Instrument (PTI), WGCTA, and the Test on Understanding Science (TFUS).
CT ability seems to vary with type of schooling. In a study comparing high school seniors in different parochial schools, Quinn (1963) found that Protestants, Jews, and Catholics were highest, middle, and lowest, respectively on scores on the WGCTA, and open-mindedness using the RADS. The differences were apparently not due to religious heritage or parents' educational background; the explanatory factor seemed to be rigidity of the educational atmosphere. Geckler (1965) also found differences in CT and OM between protestant students at different parochial schools.
According to Hinojosa (1974), "a definite relationship between dogmatism and critical thinking ability exists. Dogmatic individuals, this investigation concluded, tend to score lower on critical thinking ability measures." This finding is supported by other studies using the WGCTA and the RADS Form E: Quinn (1963), Geckler (1965), Marrs (1971), O'Neill (1973), Seymour (1973). Moore (1977), and Wilkins (1979). This study will determine if this is also true for MIU students, and if the TM program might lead to improvements.
Many other methods to improve critical thinking ability have been tried and tested. Values Clarification exercises were found to improve CT significantly in high school math students (Moore, 1977). Teacher question-asking behavior seems to have an influence on improving student CT. George (1968) found that teachers with high levels of CT achieved the greatest improvements in their students’ CT levels, Inquiry-oriented, examinatory modes of instruction were found to improve students' CT more than a passive, teacher-oriented approach (Garris, 1974; Vance, 1972: Story, 197M; and Pisano. 1980).
Class materials also have had an effect on improving student CT. Yager (1968) found that students using more than one textbook for an 8th grade science course improved their CT ability significantly more than a control group of students using just one textbook. Their Test on Understanding Science scores were higher also.
Cercone (1977) found that 10th grade English students
improved their CT ability more than a control group by engaging in one dramatic
activity related to their class work per week for twelve weeks. Bailey (l9?9)
found that an instructional model of how to learn and process information, the
Problem Information Processing Paradigm (PIPP),
improved the CT ability of high school students more than a control
group's. Greenblatt (1979) found that the use of political cartoons stimulated
greater critical reading skills in 11th graders in a social
Matthews (1980) found that students in classes emphasizing a student centered, versus teacher dominant, learning situation exhibited higher levels of ability to solve problems and think critically.
McCloudy (1974) investigated the effect of kinds of sounds and levels of intensity of noises on critical thinking ability. He found that increased levels of intensity of normal classroom noise, abnormal classroom noise, mood music, rock music, machinery sounds, and traffic noises decreased the ability of students to think critically. It seems that lower levels of sound intensity and excitation are most conducive to critical thinking. This is another reason the ”state of least excitation' cultured ; through the TM program should be investigated with respect to critical thinking ability.
MIU seeks to provide a holistic view of knowledge
through its core course curriculum
CT has been studied with respect to personality
characteristics to a limited extent. Simon
Research on Open-Mindedness
0pen-mindedness is usually dealt with in the research as the opposite of dogmatic, or closed-minded thinking. Most of the research in this area has been done by Milton Rokeach, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan. Rokeach, in his book The Open and Closed Mind (1960) defines a dogmatic individual as one holding ”a relatively closed cognitive organization of beliefs and disbeliefs about reality and dogmatism as ”a cognitive defense network against anxiety.”
The term dogmatism is associated in the research with the terms authoritarianism. cognitive rigidity, bias. prejudice, and the opposite of fair-mindedness (Watson. 1925). The Dictionary of Educating presents a comprehensive definition of what dogmatic means:
1) of a person given to highly authoritative pronouncements.
The effects of dogmatic instruction on pupils has been referred to by Soderbergh (1964) as "a condition fatal both to the afflicted teacher and the exposed pupil.” Vacchiano, Strauss, and Schiffman (1968) found that the dogmatic person is characterized as frustrated by changeable conditions, submissive and conforming, ultra-conservative, and respecting without question established ideas.