Thinking critically about yourself

The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you.

– Carl Jung

In our earlier discussion we defined critical thinking as the mental process of reflecting on and evaluating information in order to solve a problem or make a decision. We learned how to apply critical thinking to college-level readings. But what about using critical thinking to reflect on who we are and evaluate how the world sees each of us?

These days is difficult to navigate the web without finding an online questionnaire to complete. They are everywhere. And they always want to get to the bottom of really important questions like at what age will you get married?, are you a good cook? or what Hollywood start are you most alike?

While most of these types of questionnaires look innocuous, the truth of the matter is that big corporations are going through great lengths to figure out “what do you like”, but most importantly “who you are”.

Big data, predictive analytics, and algorithms are trending and fancy concepts that describe how we are being tracked and measured on a daily basis. Some of these concepts seem harmless or foreign to us. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

A very common trend in today’s workplace is the use of personality tests to assess and evaluate job applicants and employees. And when you submit your answers to one of these questionnaires, will they be getting the right picture about you? More importantly, who decides what’s the right picture?

These questions and ideas might be a little off topic from our class, but I wanted to spend some time discussing how these concepts affect our lives, the way we see ourselves and how the world sees and defines us.

These are the videos shared in class:

The uncomfortable truth about personality tests
The era of blind faith in big data must end