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News: Fake or Real? Try the Scientific Approach

by | Critical Thinking, Propaganda, Skepticism

As you scroll through your social media wall you encounter an article someone shares that sends your blood boiling or confirms something you know. This person did what? What’s going to happen? I knew it!
You’ve taken the bait. You read it. You believe it. You share it. You later learn that the information you shared was false or misleading. How frustrating! Especially when you consider that there are those that do report the news accurately who are accused of presenting “fake news.”
Fake news disguised as real news here, real news accused of being fake news there. What is a person to do? How can we avoid our gut feelings and biases to cloud our judgment? How do we avoid being fooled?
Researcher Emma Frans has a suggestion. We can think like a scientist. As Emma Frans points out, science offers us tools for “evaluating information in a rational way.”
The following post, “How to Read the News as a Scientist” is part of TED’s How to Be a Better Human series, each of which contains a piece of helpful advice from someone in the TED community. The Open Minds Foundation is happy to share this useful and relevant information with its readers: