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Introductory Psychology 5th Edition

Introductory Psychology (5th Edition)

Book Edition5th Edition
PublisherCengage Learning
Chapter 1, Prologue, Truth or Fiction?, Exercise 01
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Truth or Fiction.


The world is flooded with sense and nonsense. How can you sort out truth from fiction?



Woods, J. (2018). Truth in fiction: Rethinking its logic (Vol. 391). Springer.


How to spot real and fake news: Critically appraising information. (n.d.). Management Training and Leadership Training - Online.


Carretta, V. (2018). Separating Truth and Fiction: Seeking the Identity of Francis Williams, Eighteenth Century Black Jamaican Poet-PR 9349. W43 C37 2003.


How to sort out truth from fiction

1. Develop a Critical Mindset

Fiction being something that is often invented or even untrue, you need to address what you see and hear with logic and critical thinking. Consider the following: "Why was this narrative created? Is it to convince me of a particular point of view? Is it attempting to sell me something? Is it attempting to get me to visit some other web page? Is it possible that I'm being prompted?" These questions will allow you to distinguish and sort out what is fiction and what is true.

2. Check the source of the information.

If you happen to come across a source you have never heard of before, you need to do some digging if it is from the internet you need to check the web address to ensure its truthfulness; you need to check things such as the publisher name, their popularity, and their professional experience. If the website has any spelling errors or strange extensions such as .infonet instead of .com you need to double check the same to see if the information is true or fictional.

3. See who else is reporting the information or story.

Is anybody else apart from you aware of the story or information? This can help you know if it is true or fictional because if a lot of people are aware of it, it might be true. You also need to check what other available sources have to say about it? Don't draw the conclusion that almost all mass media content is false. This may be just as dangerous as believing every rumour or conspiracies are true. 

4. You need to examine the evidence behind what is being said.

A believable tale, story or any form of information will include several facts, such as expert quotations, survey data, and government statistics. It also needs to have   eyewitness statements from persons on the site that are precise, accurate, and confirmed. If any of this is missing, you should raise an eyebrow as to whether it is fictional or true. Is the evidence also conclusive that something has happened? Or have the facts that are available been "picked" or "distorted" to support a certain point of view?

5. Check if the information sounds right

Finally, remember to apply common sense! Realize that bogus news or information is intended to "feed" your prejudices, aspirations, or anxieties and is often doubtful, for instance, that your beloved designer company is giving out a million free gowns to individuals who visit its shops this is definitely fictional news and you need to disregard it. 

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