Critical Thinking Quiz
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Test your critical thinking skills in this 30 question quiz.
Many of the questions are difficult and the correct answer may seem only slightly different than the incorrect answers. The test is not timed so read each question and answer carefully before choosing an answer.
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Master – You have great critical thinking skills!
Expert – You are a very good critical thinker!
Skilled – Your critical thinking skills are pretty darn good!
Good – Your critical thinking skills are good but they could be better.
Ok – You did ok but some extra studying could help.
Poor – Your results were not so good. You should get some practice and come back and try again.
Ugly – Your results were rough. Try reading up on critical thinking and take the quiz again.
Question 1 of 25
You were given a video of a UFO by an eyewitness. The video is high-quality and the event was witnessed by others. You take the video to an expert in astronomical phenomena for analysis. After closely examining the video the expert says it is probably a meteor.
Choose a reasonable conclusion from the list below.Correct
The expert says the UFO is probably a meteor. We can conclude that it could be a meteor but we can not say for certain it is a meteor. We also can’t assume the UFO has a natural cause until we can determine the cause with certainty. Also it is reasonable to say we have some idea of what the meteor could be.
Question 2 of 25
Choose the statement that is an objective statement of fact.Correct
An objective statement of fact includes no inferences or opinions. It only includes facts that can be observed and known. Some of the statements include events that seem to correlate, however correlation does not imply causality.
Question 3 of 25
Sam was watching TV in his bedroom when he heard an interior door slam. Sam called a local paranormal investigation team to find out if his apartment is haunted.
What is the most likely cause of the slamming door?Correct
Without knowing any additional information it is illogical to guess at which explanation is most likely. We have no basis for evaluating answers.
Question 4 of 25
You receive an email for a man who claims to have a photo of a ghost. You examine the photo and immediately recognize the ghost image from a popular fake image phone app.
What is a reasonable statement about the man who submitted the photo?Correct
We do not know the motivation of the man that submitted the photo. We also do not even know whether the man knew the photo was faked. The man could have been the victim of a hoax himself. Many popular phone apps can be setup to automatically insert ghostly images to photos taken on the camera. It is illogical to assume the man was part of the hoax without more information. Be careful not to accuse someone of lying unless you have strong evidence to support that claim.
Question 5 of 25
Choose the statement that includes an inference or opinion.Correct
Remember an inference statement includes an opinion or piece of information that cannot be known from casual observation. In this case assuming the geese were hungry and that they consumed the bread quickly are inferences. This difference can seem minor but it is an important distinction.
Question 6 of 25
A paranormal investigator plays a recording from a recent investigation. It includes a section of audio that sounds like a boy’s voice saying “Don’t go.” The investigator says no kids were nearby and the voice was not from any of the investigators.
What is the best explanation for the recording.Correct
While the investigator could be lying, the recording could be caused by radio waves or this could be genuine evidence of the paranormal, these cannot be determined from the available information. More investigation is needed to determine which cause is most likely.
Question 7 of 25
Critical thinking is awesome!
Choose the best statement below.Correct
Yes it is!Incorrect
I’m sorry you think that way.
Question 8 of 25
An investigator that believes all UFOs are explainable through natural and known phenomena would likely be affected by:Correct
Confirmation bias is seeking explanations that justify your beliefs rather than evaluating claims objectively. Investigators with preconceived notions of explanations are in danger of confirmation bias.
Question 9 of 25
Amanada describes a close encounter with extraterrestrials she had in her backyard. We know with certainty she was awake at the time working in her garden.
Bill says he’s doubtful that Amanda had a close encounter and explains many abduction experiences and encounters can be attributed to waking dreams.
What type of fallacy does Bill’s statement represent?Correct
In this case the eyewitness was wide awake so Bill’s statement about waking dreams doesn’t apply. This is a Red Herring Fallacy because Bill’s explanation is not applicable under these conditions. If the eyewitness was asleep or we had reason to believe the witness might have fallen asleep without their knowledge this would be a possible explanation.
Question 10 of 25
Greg is in a debate on an online discussion forum. Greg responds to another poster: “Your are a moron who will not accept the truth at any cost.”
What type of fallacy does this represent?Correct
You Got It!Incorrect
An Ad Hominem fallacy is a personal assault targeting someone’s character or personal traits to discredit them. These types of attacks take away from logical discussion.
Question 11 of 25
David argues that a confession by a former DoD scientist is evidence of aliens. He says the scientist has impressive credentials so he should be trusted.
Gale counters that this is an argument from authority fallacy: Even people with credentials can lie or be mistaken. Gale then argues that David has provided no convincing argument that the confession is valid. She continues by asserting the confession is fake.
What fallacy is Gale guilty of?Correct
This is a tricky one. The undefined fallacy is presuming a claim is invalid because it is poorly argued or is argued with a fallacy. In this case Gale says the confession is untrue because David provided no convincing argument to defend the confession.
Question 12 of 25
Jim says it has been decades and no one has produced proof on Bigfoot. If Bigfoot was real we would have known it by now.
Think critically about Jim’s statement and choose the best answer below.Correct
Time is irrelevant to the validity of claims. We cannot possibly determine how much time it would take to prove a claim is true. It is illogical to assume because a certain amount of time has passed we should have proof.
Question 13 of 25
Yolanda conducts a paranormal investigation of a home a gets a spike on a trifield meter. Excited by the finding Yolanda proclaims she captured evidence of a ghost.
Based on the available information what is a reasonable conclusion?Correct
Based on the information provided we cannot logically infer a cause. We need more information before we can say what caused the spike on the Trifield meter.
Question 14 of 25
Paul says that all UFOs are caused by natural and known phenomena. Paul cites 5 UFO events that were caused by natural and known phenomena like meteorites.
What fallacy is Paul guilty of?Correct
This is a cherry picking fallacy. Paul picked 5 UFO events to prove his argument that all UFOs are caused by natural known phenomena.
Question 15 of 25
Matt argues that EMF meters can be used scientifically for paranormal investigations under the right conditions.
Julie says Matt believes any electronic gadget can be used scientifically. She says “This is just plain wrong!”
What fallacy is Julie guilty of?Correct
Julie mischaracterized Matt’s argument by claiming he thinks any gadget can be used scientifically. This is the definition of the Strawman fallacy.
Question 16 of 25
Kelly shows you a picture she took when she took her dogs to the woods. She points out an area in the leaves that looks like a face. You look at the pattern and it is very difficult to make out, but after staring for some time you can spot a very rough shape of a face. Kelly says she didn’t experience anything unexplained but wonders if this is evidence of the paranormal.
What is a reasonable response?Correct
This one can be tricky. In this case we know that the face is made up of a pattern of leaves. We have a picture and an eyewitness to confirm it. It is reasonable to say this is probably a case of pareidolia/apophenia/simulacra because no other compelling evidence is presented and randomness in nature can often appear as meaningful patterns to the human brain. We already have the word from the eyewitness that she experienced nothing unexplained. Unless Kelly saw the leaves moving themselves or offered some other evidence to suggest a paranormal explanation pareidolia/apophenia/simulacra is the most likely explanation.
Question 17 of 25
Umi says Bigfoot hunters haven’t provided any compelling evidence of Bigfoot’s existence so sightings are all the result of hoaxes or misidentification. Umi provides no additional arguments or evidence.
Which of the fallacies below is Umi guilty of?Correct
Although believers haven’t proved the existence of Bigfoot skeptics have not proved any alternate explanation. For Umi’s conclusion to be valid she would have to prove her explanation. The burden of proof is on the claimant. Anyone who claims an explanation for a phenomenon is obligated to provide evidence that their conclusion is valid. Furthermore Umi asserts that ALL sightings are the result of misidentification or hoaxes. We know some Bigfoot sightings were the result of hoaxes or misidentification but we don’t know if they all are. We don’t even know if a large sample is the result of misidentification or hoaxes.
Question 18 of 25
Dwight has a video of UFO. The video is several minutes long and high-quality. Dwight takes the video to an expert in astronomical phenomena. The expert cannot identify the object in the video.
What is a reasonable conclusion?Correct
Be careful with this one. Dwight took the video to a single expert in astronomical phenomena who couldn’t identify it. Another expert may be able to identify it or it could be a strange result produced by known natural phenomena. It could also have a paranormal explanation. At this point we cannot determine with certainty if the cause was natural known phenomena or something paranormal.
Question 19 of 25
A paranormal investigation team uses a psychic to help determine if locations are haunted. On a recent investigation the psychic says the house is haunted by a young girl in a white dress. Further investigation reveals a young girl died in an accident on the property 80 years ago.
What is a reasonable conclusion based on this information?Correct
There are two issues with using psychics experiences as evidence of the paranormal. 1). Psychic phenomena has not been proven to exist. It is problematic to use one unproven phenomenon to detect another. 2). The psychic could have used cold reading techniques, a lucky guess or could have had previous knowledge of the young girl.
Based on the information provided we can’t draw any meaningful conclusions.
Question 20 of 25
Brandon says he can find a natural and known explanation for every paranormal claim. He says he uses debunking to look for natural causes for paranormal claims.
What is the concern with Brandon’s approach to investigating paranormal claims?Correct
Brandon’s belief that all paranormal claims have a natural and known explanation indicates that he may not be objectively investigating paranormal claims. This suggests Brandon may be influenced by confirmation bias. Objective investigators develop multiple possible explanations then apply the evidence to each explanation and determine which is most likely.
Question 21 of 25
Guadalupe investigates paranormal claims by gathering evidence, analyzing the evidence, developing possible explanations and then determines which explanation best fits the evidence.
What is the flaw in Guadalupe’s approach to investigation?Correct
This is a trick question. Guadalupe is using logic and reason to gather evidence and determine which explanation is most likely. This is the way every investigator should operate to limit the influence of bias.
Question 22 of 25
Anjuan investigates a reported Bigfoot sighting that occurred just three days ago. The witness says he saw a tall hairy creature in the woods behind some dense brush. Anjuan conducts an investigation of the area but is unable to locate any significant evidence to suggest Bigfoot was there.
Anjuan asks local residents about the area and discovers it is a common spot for Turkey hunting. He also learns that Turkey hunters often dress in heavy camoflauge to hide from the birds and Turkey hunting season was open at the time of the sighting.
Based on this information what is a reasonable conclusion.Correct
Be careful with this question. We have strong evidence to suggest that the eyewitness saw a Turkey hunter and not Bigfoot. However it is a step too far to say the eyewitness undoubtedly saw a Turkey hunter. We don’t have enough information to justify that conclusion.
Question 23 of 25
Amanda says she has found compelling evidence of a ghost at a local resident’s home. Amanda is known for her strong critical thinking skills and methodological approach.
What is a reasonable reaction to Amanda’s claim?Correct
Even the best critical thinkers can make mistakes. Investigators should be critical of their peer’s work and examine their analysis before accepting or rejecting their conclusion. Serious investigative work should be examined by peers.
Question 24 of 25
A prominent skeptic known for their strong science background and appreciation of critical thinking claims that a recent mass UFO sighting was caused by military flares.
What is a reasonable reaction to this claim?Correct
No one is exempt from peer-review. No matter the conclusion, the work of serious investigators should always be examined carefully by peers to ensure no mistakes were made. Even the best critical thinkers and investigators can make mistakes.
Question 25 of 25
Examine the statement below and select the sentence that is an objective statement of fact.Correct
An objective statement of facts contains no inferences and no opinions. An objective statement of fact includes observations and findings that others would make if they were in the same situation.