What would be the most effective way to develop skills to discern relevant from irrelevant information?
Relevant and irrelevant information are determined through discerning the qualities of such information and judging them under a specific scope. This type of cognitive activity is possible through logical reasoning which, according to Albrecht inBrain Building,can be an acquired skill that is taught and learned; this means that logical reasoning is not a genetic virtue, but a result of molding our thinking processes.
In order to acquire logical thinking, the basic skill that is taught from a very early academic level is sequential training. Sequencing consists on "if/then" scenarios, on organized thinking, and on cause/effect strategies. The act of discerning and critically determining the value or importance of information comes as a result of a learned ability to understand the the difference between what is relevant and what is irrelevant; this is what the if/then thinking is all about.
To be able to develop logical reasoning skills, there has to be a tendency to observe traits and qualities, as well as to think flexibly about opposing traits and qualities: if there is good, then there is bad; if there is effectiveness, then there must be ineffectiveness. Again, practicing "if/then" scenarios is the best way to sequentially understand the traits of relevant and irrelevant information.