Keynote Session: Critical Thinking and Information Fluency: Using News (and Fake News!) to Make Any Course More International and Multicultural
Fake news is proliferating, in part because social media is a great equalizer; popularity, not accuracy, drives the stories that all look respectable in our newsfeeds. Although political fake stories get the most press, science fake stories are just as dangerous and offer us an inroad to increase students’ information fluency. In our classrooms, we can harness “real news” to teach real-world applications of psychology, particularly in global and multicultural contexts. But we also can harness “fake news” to teach the critical thinking skills that help students evaluate the firehose of information we all encounter.
In this presentation, I’ll first explore cognitive and social psychology research on why fake news and, relatedly, real but “fluffy” news (i.e., “clickbait”) are both compelling and divisive. I’ll then talk about how we can use news sources to bring other countries and cultures into our classrooms. Finally, I’ll consider how we can layer lessons about critical thinking onto these discussions, teaching students to differentiate among good, questionable, and fake news sources.
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