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Fake News, Propaganda, and Other Types of False Information: Media Literacy Resources

Learn how language can be used to in a way that it affects the way people perceive reality. Unlike real news, whose purpose is to simply inform, the main purpose of fake news is to confuse and manipulate people.

How Bias Screws Up Decision-Making Abilities

What is bias?

  • According to the Oxford English Dictionary, bias is: an inclination, leaning, tendency, bent; a preponderating disposition or propensity; predisposition towards; predilection; prejudice.
    • Bias is a point of view that may influence how information is conveyed.
      • Spin - information itself may be incorrect, but it is "spun" or presented in such a way that it is interpreted to mean something else, or be aligned to a targeted point of view or values 
    • Bias is not always intentional—our upbringing, background, and media exposure can creep into resources without the creators realizing it. This is called implicit bias.
      •  implicit bias affects judgments, decisions, and behaviors.
      • develop self-awareness skills to be aware of your own biases ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
        • self-awareness means to have conscious knowledge of our own character, feelings, motives, and desires. 
      • choose resources with the potential of bias in mind
      • evaluate if a bias is strongly influencing the trustworthiness of the source
      • many people see opinion they agree with as fact or as truth and opinion they disagree with as fake or false

The chart below depicts biases we are all vulnerable to.

Bias chart

Sources:

Lee, Samantha and Drake Bear. "20 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Your Decisions." Business Insider Australia. Dec. 24, 2015. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/cognitive-biases-that-affect-decisions-2015-8. Accessed June 30, 2020.

Butler, Walter, D. Aloha Sargent, and Kelsey Smith. "Information Sources: Bias," Introduction to College Research. OER. Pressbooks. 2020. https://introtocollegeresearch.pressbooks.com/chapter/information-sources-bias/


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