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A Discussion Question Based On The Topic And A Reply To Peer Review Or Discussion Below

  • Textbook: Chapter 10, 11
  • Lesson
  • Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)

Initial Post Instructions
Consider one of the following current social issues – or one of your choice:

  • Opioid crisis
  • Legalization of recreational or medical marijuana
  • Vaping
  • Immigration
  • Elimination of the electoral college
  • Gun control

For the initial post, address the following:

  • State your position on one of these issues – are you for, against, or neutral? Explain why. Avoid vagueness or ambiguity in your response. Make your position very clear.
  • Examine how you have formed that opinion.
    • How well do you think you know the facts?
    • Do you know and understand statistical information that applies to the issue?
    • Do you think you have formed your opinion using only System-1 thinking, or have you applied System-2?
    • What part have heuristics, cognitive bias, and dominance structuring played in how you have formed your opinions?

The initial post is not about how “correct” your position is; it is about how you arrived at your position on the issue. This discussion requires application of metacognition – thinking about how you think.

Follow-Up Post Instructions
Respond to at least one peer. Further the dialogue by providing more information and clarification.

In your responses, look for another student’s post, either on the same or a different issue. Choose, where possible, a peer whose initial post has not yet been examined by another student, and examine it. Do you agree or disagree with your peer?

  • Is your initial reaction to your peer “So, right; you bet!” or is it “So wrong, you’re all wet!”
  • Examine carefully your thinking in response to your peers:
    • What part, if any, have facts, heuristics, or dominance structuring played in your response?
    • What part, if any, has cognitive bias played in your response?

You should also look at responses to your initial post:

  • Did your peer fairly evaluate you? Discuss this with your peer.

You may find that just the minimum three posts are not sufficient to discover whether you can identify these elements. You will have to make a judgement call: do the minimum three and miss out on the deep thinking required by this exercise, or go beyond the minimum three and really begin to understand your thought processes and the concept of critical thinking.

A very valuable final post would be to discuss your judgment call: perhaps you “got it” in three; perhaps you opted for more than three; perhaps other demands on your time did not allow you to exercise as much deep thinking as you would have liked to do. Perhaps you did not see much value in the discussion – a very valuable final post would be a brief statement of why you found it so. Do not be shy about critiquing the exercise. Look at “A Poorly Crafted Assignment” in section 11.1 of the text in which the authors critique a similar assignment.

Writing Requirements

  • Minimum of 2 posts (1 initial & 1 follow-up)
  • Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside source)
  • APA format for in-text citations and list of references

Peer Response: “There is no denying that there is an opioid crisis in America. The debate isn’t over if its real or not but rather how to deal with it. I believe we need a more comprehensive plan of attack for this crisis that doesn’t just involve locking up drug dealers or people in possession of drugs, but a plan more geared to the rehabilitation of people who have fallen victim to this crisis. I was not as well versed on this subject as I would like to be, but I am familiar with the main objections to the ways we are trying to solve this probably. So many people are thrown in prison for drug offenses, go through withdrawal while in prison, and go right back to doing drugs when they get out. This is not the most efficient way to deal with such a dangerous crisis. I decided that I need to do some more research to figure out my exact stance on this argument. My snap judgement before doing any kind of research was to agree that people who commit drug offenses should serve jail time. They broke the law and should be punished for it. This is an affect heuristic, I used my gut feeling to decide how I felt about the situation (Facione & Gittens 2016). After doing some research and finding out that between the years 1999 and 2017 around 670,000 lives have been lost due to opioid misuse and overdoses, I realized there needed to be a better way to deal with this crisis other than jail time (Cullen 2018). I used system 2 thinking to make a final judgement on this controversy. After doing some research and reflecting I what I thought about this terrible crisis, my opinion changed to America needing a better option in dealing with the opioid crisis (Facione & Gittens 2016). We need an option that focuses more on rehabilitation than punishment. I don’t believe dominance structuring played a huge role in my decision making. Dominance structuring is almost like stubbornness, once you have a made a decision, you do not go back on it (Faccione & Gittens 2016). My opinion on this controversy changed after I became more informed.”


Cullen, K. (2018). The Opioid Crisis Response Act: Looking Ahead, Ignoring the Present. JURIST Commentary. Retrieved 2021, from https://ssrn.com/abstract=3255088Links to an external site.

Facione, P., & Gittens, C. (2016). Thinking Critically (3rd ed.). Na, NA: Pearson Education. Retrieved 2021, from https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9780133914351/cfi/0!/4/4@0.00:0.00Links to an external site.

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