Reasoning is at the heart of critical thinking and problem solving, but it rarely gets mentioned in K-12 curriculums or is required for University or graduate students. But it's never too late to learn. If we don't examine how we arrive at decisions, then we will make more mistakes and be more we susceptible to being misled by others. Reason is not infallible, nor is it the only guide to decision making, but it is a tool to use in every job we do.
A common criticism of formal logic is that it is far removed from practical decision making, but that is true only if the principles are not really understood. Real-life decision making considers evidence (with various amounts of reason, depending on who is doing the reasoning), but it also takes place within context of life experience and preexisting expectations.
Today's paper looks at this 'Real-Life Decision Making',and in fact you can see two different systems that become activated depending on whether you make a decision based on presented evidence that agrees with what you expected to see, or disagrees with your prediction.
The researchers were interested in the possibility of different systems because of its implications for decisions made in the courtroom, but the implications are much broader than that. The line between bias and the wisdom of experience can be difficult to draw.
We've included some other nice sites for logic and reasoning below.
Causal Reasoning fMRI pdf
Logic in Argumentative Writing
Stephen's Guide to the Logical Fallacies
Intro Math Reasoning
Gr 3-5: Math Reasoning and Proof
Gr 6-8: Math Reasoning and Proof