Location

Room 100

Type of Presentation

Workshop (1 hour and 15 minutes)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

Fake news, faulty data, and questionable research outputs: how do we find the truth when so much information is uncertain? Part of this problem is cognitive biases in our decision-making process. The mind will create a durable narrative around knowns and ignore unknowns. Scholar Daniel Kahneman (2012) refers to this phenomenon as, "What you see is all there is" or WYSIATI. Another common heuristic, the "availability cascade," causes the mind to prefer immediate examples that come to mind over more reliable information that is less easily recalled. These biases limit the accuracy of the information that people understand, as well as their own information-seeking behavior. While no one is immune to these cognitive processes, they are a significant issue to address in information literacy instruction.

At Georgia Institute of Technology, we created a Fake News and Information Literacy program based on the current research from cognitive psychology, with the goal of equipping students to recognize fake news, faulty research, and personal biases. Rather than provide a list of "safe" resources, we teach students the skills to recognize authoritative work. Active learning techniques are a key part of each session, which is customizable to the needs of the individual class. Due to the high demand for these services from Georgia Tech faculty, we taught over 25 sections in the first semester this curriculum was offered.

Presentation Description

In this hands-on session, participants will confront their own biases through playful activities, recognize different types of fake news, connect cognitive psychology to the research process, and learn a customizable framework for a 50 minute class session. Schedule: 15 minutes: Discussion: confirmation biases (Seth Porter) 15 minutes: Activity: recognizing and confronting biases (Marlee Givens) 15 minutes: Cognitive psychology and research questions; Activity: recognizing fake news (Liz Holdsworth) 15 minutes: Discussion: customizable framework for news literacy (Karen Viars) 15 minutes: Q&A

Keywords

Fake news, cognitive psychology, cognitive biases, active learning

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

GAINTLIT_2018_GIVENS_SUPPL_Fighting Fake News handout.pdf (244 kB)
Fighting Fake News handout

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Sep 29th, 12:15 PM Sep 29th, 1:30 PM

Fighting Fake News and Biases with Cognitive Psychology

Room 100

Fake news, faulty data, and questionable research outputs: how do we find the truth when so much information is uncertain? Part of this problem is cognitive biases in our decision-making process. The mind will create a durable narrative around knowns and ignore unknowns. Scholar Daniel Kahneman (2012) refers to this phenomenon as, "What you see is all there is" or WYSIATI. Another common heuristic, the "availability cascade," causes the mind to prefer immediate examples that come to mind over more reliable information that is less easily recalled. These biases limit the accuracy of the information that people understand, as well as their own information-seeking behavior. While no one is immune to these cognitive processes, they are a significant issue to address in information literacy instruction.

At Georgia Institute of Technology, we created a Fake News and Information Literacy program based on the current research from cognitive psychology, with the goal of equipping students to recognize fake news, faulty research, and personal biases. Rather than provide a list of "safe" resources, we teach students the skills to recognize authoritative work. Active learning techniques are a key part of each session, which is customizable to the needs of the individual class. Due to the high demand for these services from Georgia Tech faculty, we taught over 25 sections in the first semester this curriculum was offered.