Last week we talked about cognitive biases and how often we think something is right when it isn't. Well, hot on the heels of that is some advice on how to fall for less nonsense online, from Science of Us.
The advice actually helps us overcome some of our most basic cognitive biases (especially confirmation bias). Simply 1) ask yourself if the information satisfies you, 2) think of reasons it could be wrong, and 3) read information on this subject from sources you disagree with.
Step one helps overcome your confirmation bias. If you get a warm, fuzzy feeling of "this is right and satisfies me" from the information, there's a good chance it is just confirming your existing beliefs, so you need to delve further. Thinking of reasons something could be wrong helps you to think like a scientist, examine the information from another perspective, and find holes in their argument. Finally, reading information from another source - one that doesn't support your bias - will help you big time! Not only does it give you another perspective on the issue at hand, but it makes your brain work harder to assimilate the information. It's also the equivalent of reading news from the BBC and Al Jazeera - somewhere between the two you'll get an accurate picture of what's happening.
Source: Science of Us.
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