Activity: Relevance
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Criteria Corner Activities:
Click on each intellectual standards term above for activities focused on each one.
Internalize These Essential Intellectual Standards for Thought:
Relevance
The intellectual standard of relevance derives from the fact that some information—however true it might be—does not bear on a question to which we need an answer. Irrelevant information, thrust into the thinking process, diverts us from the information we do need and prevents us from answering the question at hand.
Core Standards of Reasoning Diagram
Activity: Recognize Irrelevant Statements
Can you identify a statement you heard recently that was clear, accurate, and sufficiently precise, but irrelevant to the circumstance, problem, or issue? Though we all sometimes stray from a question or task, we need to be sensitive to when failure to stay on task may have a significant negative implication.

Begin probing for relevance. Where appropriate, ask the simple and disarming question ‘how do you see what you just said as being relevant to the issue we are discussing at present?’ Ask yourself the same question on a regular basis.
Consider the relevance of provided information.
Identify circumstances in which people tend to introduce irrelevant considerations into a discussion (for example, in meetings, in response to questions in class, in everyday dialogue when they have a hidden agenda or simply want to get control of the conversation for some reason).
All instruments in a cockpit are relevant to flying the airplane, but they are not relevant to riding a bicycle.