Chevron Left
Back to Mindware: Critical Thinking for the Information Age

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Mindware: Critical Thinking for the Information Age by University of Michigan

1,351 ratings

About the Course

Most professions these days require more than general intelligence. They require in addition the ability to collect, analyze and think about data. Personal life is enriched when these same skills are applied to problems in everyday life involving judgment and choice. This course presents basic concepts from statistics, probability, scientific methodology, cognitive psychology and cost-benefit theory and shows how they can be applied to everything from picking one product over another to critiquing media accounts of scientific research. Concepts are defined briefly and breezily and then applied to many examples drawn from business, the media and everyday life. What kinds of things will you learn? Why it’s usually a mistake to interview people for a job. Why it’s highly unlikely that, if your first meal in a new restaurant is excellent, you will find the next meal to be as good. Why economists regularly walk out of movies and leave restaurant food uneaten. Why getting your picture on the cover of Sports Illustrated usually means your next season is going to be a disappointment. Why you might not have a disease even though you’ve tested positive for it. Why you’re never going to know how coffee affects you unless you conduct an experiment in which you flip a coin to determine whether you will have coffee on a given day. Why it might be a mistake to use an office in a building you own as opposed to having your office in someone else’s building. Why you should never keep a stock that’s going down in hopes that it will go back up and prevent you from losing any of your initial investment. Why it is that a great deal of health information presented in the media is misinformation....

Top reviews


Jul 28, 2019

This course is great! I recommend it to anyone who wants to be able to reason better and have more capabilities in making decisions. Thank you Dr. Nisbett and Coursera for providing this course.


Apr 7, 2020

Anyone beginner can take this course and be 100 times more understanding of information via any media while also perhaps understanding what is the best choice in some give scenario IRL.

Filter by:

1 - 25 of 316 Reviews for Mindware: Critical Thinking for the Information Age

By Peter B

Dec 24, 2018

Excellent introduction to basic tools (awareness of some cognitive biases / heuristics, the importance of contextual factors, etc.) for sharpening our minds: It´s a must! :-)

By Deleted A

Aug 7, 2017

A very good course prof Richard has explained very difficult to understand concepts in a very simple language and made it easy for students to grasp the subject matter easily.

By Cyril R

May 8, 2020

Professor Nisbett is an extremely well-read professor. He knows a lot about the stuff he's teaching, and that knowledge is readily visible during the course. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I think I will be revisiting this course multiple times for a revision because that's how much I liked it. The course is very well-designed, the examples are clear and easily understandable and the course succeeds in doing what it claims it can do i.e. to make you think more critically, logically and rationally about things.

By Diana F

May 14, 2020

Most important, useful course I've ever taken. I didn't get critical thinking taught as such when in school to help me make better decisions in life. This course puts those skills needed for today's world all together in one tight set of lessons. I had intended to audit the course. But, I was so impressed I bought the book and the certificate. I will now re-read the chapters and follow along again thru the lectures. One time simply wasn't enough. Thank you Dr. Nisbett and Coursera!

By Javan M

Jul 29, 2019

This course is great! I recommend it to anyone who wants to be able to reason better and have more capabilities in making decisions. Thank you Dr. Nisbett and Coursera for providing this course.

By Sergej S

May 21, 2017

Hi and thanks for this course.

It inspires me to study deeper statistics, logic and other topics included in the course.

The only issue that I faced with is how should I use that in a real world? Lot of (or even all) information given in this course was new to as an academic subject. And I feel lack of understanding how can I use it in practice. So, my feedback is add some practical assignments (with no review, of course) or give some hint about how start using that. It'll be very handy.

Anyway, thank you for that. That was really great.

P.S. I would be very appreciate if you can give some ideas about my issue. You can text me on

But of course, it's only by your grace. I've no reasons to expect and insist on it.

By Jess I

Oct 9, 2017

The professor is likable, the content is engaging and accessible, and the lessons are applicable to everyone's daily life in both personal and professional situations.

By Martin J d K

Apr 8, 2020

Anyone beginner can take this course and be 100 times more understanding of information via any media while also perhaps understanding what is the best choice in some give scenario IRL.

By Saadiq H N

May 27, 2017

Excellent! A very informative course delivered in a very effective manner. I would highly recommend this course to all who have any interest at all in critical thinking.

By Mark E

May 12, 2019

Good introduction into the field of statistical reasoning and the errors made, errors we encounter quite frequently. It helps to value the news and information we receive all day, by applying a critical filter

Lecture had a good mix of video, downloadable slides (to make notes and review a topic) and optional reading materials, based on a book that needs to be bought seperately. I suggest however to buy the book and do the optional reading, as it helps to anchor the content of the videos and slides.

The reason for not giving 5 stars: The language is occasionally hard to understand for non-native English speakers. Even though I consider my English to be quite good, quite frequently I had to look up words in the dictionary. Slides on the download section are supportive, but eventually should be cleaned up.

By Donald E M

Sep 9, 2020

Very interesting course. I learned many processes while taking the course. It has been many years since I have been enrolled in any courses on the college/university level. I found some of the works used I had to look up the definition as I had difficulty understanding them. Many times throughout the course I felt that I was not getting it. But in reviewing the videos and reading material for the most part became clear. I still find that even after completing the course I still have some confusion in certain areas.

It was surprising to me how many of the processes that were taught finally began to make sense to me and actually helped in many areas such as Cost Benefit Analysis and logic.


By Shailesh S

May 28, 2017

Nice concise course. Explains basics of correlation, causation, std deviation, 5-6 cognitive biases and logical reasoning/thinking. Overall good course, would recommend. What I personally didn't like (would love to see changed) is - 1) not requiring correct answers for pre-lecture quizzes 2) not allowing free form entry text for answers type questions in quizzes that count towards marks/grades 3) Lesson 8b - Dialectical Reasoning (I wish this topic was not included in the course, maybe it can be replaced by something different/better. As usual, many thanks to professor for sharing his knowledge and to all involved in making this course available to us - on-demand and free !

By Mohan Z

Dec 5, 2017

The content will be probably be very familiar, maybe too familiar to people who are professionals in any logic-intense field like engineering, philosophy or science. Overall, a good refresher and you get to tag some of the things you know but don't know the term. Like fundamental attribution error, confirmation bias etc. Recommend to people who are less trained in logic, or who needs a refresher

By Omar V M

Sep 7, 2018

Even if I'm not particularly sure that the learnings of this course will not fade from my memory, like many other learnings just had, it was for me an interesting journey, and one that I took with great joy and enthusiasm. It is not a big deal to finish a course, but I suppose it was motivating to get into the train of thought of the instructor every once in a while. Certainly as many other individuals, I aspire to become wiser in order to make better decisions, both in my personal life as well as in my workplace. Part of my perceived self-endowment is to spread the word with other people interested in improving their thinking about the tools provided by this course. Thanks to Prof. Nisbett and thanks to the Coursera staff and other participants of this course.

By Aedrian A

Jan 21, 2021

This course is an excellent distillation of what "mental tools" everyone today must have in examining information and dealing with the modern world in general. While most of the concepts will perhaps be redundant for psychologists, statisticians, epidemiologists and the philosophy-inclined, the casual learner and other professionals who couldn't care less about the aforementioned fields will find this offering extremely useful. My key takeaway for this course is that we should not allow the exponential growth in the availability of information and data to keep us from discerning their validity and utility.

By Mariya K

Jan 13, 2019

This is a great course which is a must-do for every modern person trying to deal with the huge amount of information and data which floods us every day. You will learn basic principles of statistics that will show you how to form expectations and how to explain some seemingly strange events. It will also teach you basic principles of logic and dialectical thinking, along with the differences between them, to help you understand not only the world, but yourself, too.

By Kristen Z

Nov 22, 2018

Cannot speak highly enough about this course. Concepts taught are relevant and practical, and you begin to use them while you're still learning. Delivery is easy to listen to and authentic. This course will change the way you view the world, the way you take in information, the way you approach issues, and the way you view yourself.


Aug 14, 2020

An eye-opening course, I've accidentally found this course while searching on another topic. However after finishing it, I'm now looking for further similar courses that provide deeper discussions on the topics mentioned in this course. Thank you Dr. Nisbett and Michigan University to bring us such a quality and useful knowledge.

By 이윤숙

May 29, 2022

강의를 듣고 논리적 사고와 다른 측면을 고려할 수 있는 깊이 있고 비판적 사고에 많은 도움을 받았습니다. 감사드립니다.

By Steve D

Mar 9, 2018

I found it very interesting. I knew some of the concepts, but it was put together in an interesting way with a congenial lecturer.

By pradeep v

Mar 14, 2021

Small and beautiful. For more, I think the book used for this course should be read.

By Roberto

Nov 27, 2020

Interesting topics, easily transferable to everyday life. Recommend the book too.

By Salvador M

Dec 23, 2018

Really interesting and useful to get better decisions in the future, I hope ;)

By Prabhakar

May 27, 2017

Very nice course with real life examples, where one needs to think critically.

By Fhuad B

Jul 4, 2019

Great teachings and I like the way he chooses the words he uses.