wk 1 discussion


If it’s on the Internet, it Must Be True, Right? Using Critical Thinking to Debunk the Junk. 


Over the past few years, social media sites have been filled with “research” on everything, from claims that miracle diets are “scientifically proven effective” to articles on the existence (or not) of global warming, and everything in between.  Currently, we are overwhelmed with information surrounding COVID-19: masks are useless/masks are essential; send students to school/virtual learning is the best option; this drug is effective/it causes heart attacks; the list goes on and on.  How do we figure out what information is accurate, and what is junk?

For this assignment you will practice critical thinking skills to evaluate “rumors” currently circulating on the internet.  Are they true or just fake news?

This assignment fulfills/supports:

  • Module Outcome:
  • Course Outcome:
  • General Education Competencies:

The Assignment:

For this assignment, complete the following steps:

Step 1:

Carefully read “1.11 A Psychologist’s Skill Set: Information Literacy- How Do You Know?” beginning on page 46 of your textbook. 

Step 2:

Choose ONE of the following urban legends/rumors/myths:

  1. “Who Are ‘America’s Frontline Doctors’ and Dr. Stella Immanuel?” https://www.snopes.com/news/2020/07/30/americas-frontline-doctors/ (opens in a new window)
  2. “Was a Homeless Couple Found Living in a Walmart Attic?” https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/walmart-attic-homeless-people/ (opens in a new window)
  3. “Does a New Facebook Algorithm Only Show You 26 Friends?” https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/new-facebook-algorithm-26-friends/ (opens in a new window)

Step 3:

In your initial post, explain how you would debunk the legend/rumor/myth you chose.  Your post must include the following:

  1. Use at least 3 of the 6 suggestions from section 1.11 in your textbook. In your initial post, refer to the suggestions by their number in the textbook (Suggestion 2, Suggestion 5, etc.) and explain how each suggestion helped you determine if the information in your legend/rumor/myth was dubious or even totally false. 
  2. Your initial post should contain an introductory paragraph, at least three paragraphs explaining how the suggestions you chose from your textbook helped you determine the validity of the information in your chosen rumor/legend/myth (at least one paragraph for each suggestion) and a closing paragraph. 
  3. Your OPINION of the legend/rumor/myth should not be included in your posts.  The focus of this assignment is on applying critical thinking skills to information you encounter on social media.  This assignment is NOT intended to start a debate. 
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