Guidelines to Successful Critical Thinking

Table of Content

The article I found interesting is entitled “A Literature Review of Research on video Games, Perception, & identity” by Kathleen Falcon, a student who attends the Fairleigh Dickinson University. In this review she includes a lot of empirical research and she identifies the three main issues in video game research. These issues are attachment & empathy, identification and gender roles and biases.

Attachment and Empathy explained the genuine emotional connection exist between the player and the avatar, this is called the player-avatar connection. The player spends quality time improving the avatar, that they become so attached they eventually takes the game seriously and actually place themselves in the game. Identifying the relationship developed between the avatar and the player was referred to as the avatar-player similarity.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

The article states that players prefer avatars who match their own personality in non-competitive games rather than in competitive ones. Falcon explained a study from Trepte and Reinecke (2010) that states that, “a high level of attachment and similarity between player and avatar is positively related to a players identification with their avatar.” It reveals a relationship between a player and their self perception. The article states that in a virtual environment self esteem is a critical tool in influencing the establishment of a social identity.

Stereotype is a general idea of a particular person or thing for example races sex countries etc. Video games tend to sexualize female characters while they portray men as muscular and heroic. Falcon elaborates on this topic in the section entitled “Gender bias and the Formation of Sex Roles.” These representations affect people’s perception and attitude toward female reality. In the video world, the female avatars are portrayed as violent with sexual appeal while males are violent with athletic body types. These leave negative impacts on society as the stereotype of both gender appearances and how they should be among video players and other audience.

According to an article on, to think critically means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well-thought out. It is a way of thinking in which you don’t simply accept all arguments and conclusions you are exposed to but have an attitude involving questioning such arguments and conclusions. There are eight guidelines to successful critical thinking, Falcon did a good job on using these guides.

The first guide is to ask questions. This means that to ask questions or examine questions that have not yet been answered by experts. Analyze these questions, ask the “why” and “how”. In the first section of the article under Attachment & Empathy, Falcon seems to be wondering if she asked a few rhetorical questions “how does people become attached or attracted to their avatars? Is it love at first sight or does it take days, weeks, months …player-avatar relationship?” After proposing these questions, she then research studies.

The next guideline is to Define Problem. It is safe to operationally define your terms rather than using generalized terms or vague words. There was not much use of operational definition, but Falcon defined avatars in video game world. There were not much unnecessary definitions and the terms were all appropriate. For example, instead of saying player relation between the avatar she gave the specific terms for it “player-avatar connection, player-avatar similarity etc.” Falcon did an excellent job in examining her evidence, in fact most of the essay included reliable and valid empirical data.

She uses descriptive statistic on presenting the data. This is seen under Gender Bias and formation of Sex Roles (53) where she compared two studies and explained the data stating that, “..sample of one study, they were 60%.” Whenever she proposes an idea she uses evidence that supports or refutes the argument and oppositions. For example, under Formation of Sex Roles she spoke about a study in 2012 that states that the sexualization, presence and centrality of a female character influenced game sales. She spoke about the results, stating that, “the findings of this study states that games tend to include either no characters or one or more male characters on the box art.”

Falcon’s findings mainly supported her ideas, this is a form of Confirmation Bias, because she neglects evidence that contradicts her theories. The fourth critical thinking guideline is to analyze assumptions and biases which involves objective observations. Falcon was not willing to consider evidence that contradicted her beliefs. Assumptions were not presented nor evaluated. There was not any emotional reasoning whatsoever. Usually this is the case when people talk about gender bias and gender roles, but Falcon did not use any language that would suggest that females are misrepresented more that males. Terms such as sexual and violence were used for women while for men she referred to as athletic and muscular built. Other terms would not be appropriate as these are all true based on studies.

It was not a passionate commitment to a view, hence she avoid emotional reasoning. She never mentioned “I feel this way or in my opinion” as this would affect reasoning and results. The sixth rule is to not over simplify, in other words avoid generalizations. In critical thinking, it is good to consider other interpretations; this is the seventh rule. Before Falcon drew conclusions from any evidence, she includes other explanations and other findings.

Under gender bias (page 53), she compares two studies an older study in 2007 (M. Burgess, Stermer, & S. Burgess) that states that “video games console covers were featured almost 4 times more frequently than female characters and were given more relevant role” to a recent study done by Lynch, Tompkins, van, Driel, & Fritz, 2016) which the results were “when female characters were presented, they were given secondary roles and there was appositive correlation between character..” She continues to add more research then she drew her conclusions.

Lastly the eighth guideline to critical thinking is to tolerate uncertainty, this means testing or modifying theories and data. It is okay to be uncertain about a perfect answer to your problem. There was not any uncertainty in this review, but she includes suggestions for future. Falcon seems sure in all her findings.

This essay was different which is good. It would be a better essay if at least one of the findings contradicted her hypothesis. People who have done research about video games popularly talk about its influence on the player’s real-world behavior or its psychological consequences. But Falcon attacked this research from a different perspective.

She did not speak about the negative or positive influences of video games, instead she spoke about the consequences of these important themes in video game research which are Attachment & Empathy, Identification and Gender Biases and the Formation of Sex Roles. The review was not trying to make an argument or trying to turn teenagers against video games, instead it explained certain theories as to why humans get attached to video games and spend long hours playing. It goes on to show how video games alter our society’s perception of males and females.

She also did not use much opinion, instead she used scientific research and explained the results and used it to demonstrate her point. The essay gave a brief understanding of the effects of video games on human behavior. The essay had bit of confirmation bias as alternate research was not presented. This is not a good practice as researchers, as it could affect results and it devalues information that goes against a theory. Falcon only searched for information that confirms and support her hypotheses.

Cite this page

Guidelines to Successful Critical Thinking. (2021, Sep 20). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront