Critical Thinking : Understanding and Evaluating Dental Research

Donald Maxwell Brunette

The Internet has given us access to an unprecedented amount of information, but this development also facilitates the spread of misinformation if we do not think critically and evaluate what we read. The third edition of this classic textbook has been revised based on developments in biomedical research practices over the past decade to provide readers with the most up-to-date resource for navigating the ever-expanding world of dental literature. The book covers rhetoric and logic, the scientific method, components of scientific papers, research strategies, probability and statistics, diagnostic tools and testing, and experiment design. The chapter about searching the dental literature has been updated with the most current resources and search techniques available. A new chapter about clinical decision making uses a decision tree analysis with worked-out calculations to show how critical thinking skills can be used to select the most appropriate treatment decision in a clinical scenario; this is followed by a whole chapter of exercises in critical thinking. This book emphasizes how readers can practically apply critical thinking skills to evaluate scientific literature and thereby make the most informed decisions for their patients and themselves.Contents: Reasons for Studying Critical Thinking • Scientific Method and the Behavior of Scientists • The Components of a Scientific Paper • Rhetoric • Searching the Dental Literature • Logic: The Basics • Introduction to Abductive and Inductive Logic: Analogy, Models, and Authority • Causation • Quacks, Cranks, and Abuses of Logic • Elements of Probability and Statistics, Part 1: Discrete Variables • Elements of Probability and Statistics, Part 2: Continuous Variables • The Importance of Measurement in Dentistry • Errors of Measurement • Presentation of Results • Diagnostic Tools and Testing • Research Strategies and Threats to Validity • Observation • Correlation and Association • Experimentation • Experiment Design • Statistics As an Inductive Argument and Other Statistical Concepts • Judgment • Introduction to Clinical Decision Making • Exercises in Critical Thinking


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