G. Randy Kasten is an attorney and author of Just Trust Me: Finding the Truth in a World of Spin.
The ability to think critically is one skill separating innovators from followers. Critical thinking reduces the power of advertisers, the unscrupulous and the pretentious, and can neutralize the sway of an unsupported argument. This is a skill most students enjoy learning because they see immediately that it gives them more control.
That said, young people -- without significant life experience and anxious to fit in -- are especially vulnerable to surface appeal. Targeted advertising affects their buying and eating habits; choosing friends for the wrong reasons can lead to real heartache. Decisions about joining the military, becoming a parent or choosing a career have indelible effects on a person's life.
An inability to think critically at an early age can have devastating consequences.
Via Peter Hoeve, Roy Sheneman, PhD