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2.9 Beyond the first impression

Think of the last time you admired a piece of art. You may have asked yourself questions such as: "Who made it? How and when was it made? What if I look at it from a different angle? What's the story behind it?"

Follow the four steps below to see what lies behind a particular piece of artwork.

Step 1: First impression

Step 2: Focusing on detail

Step 3: Gaining perspective

Step 4: Drawing conclusions


This exercise illustrates some of the steps in thinking critically: 

  • Zooming in on an issue to observe small details that you may otherwise not notice.
  • Looking at it from different angles to consider different perspectives.
  • Zooming out to see how the issue fits within the wider context or the 'bigger picture'.

As you go through this process, you'll probably realise that there is so much more to an issue than you had originally thought. You'll be able to gain a more thorough understanding of the ideas and concepts you're studying and thus draw informed conclusions.

Investing your time and energy in sharpening your observation skills will help you guard against poor reasoning.

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