Critical thinking is:
  1. Skeptical clarification
  2. Logical thinking
  3. Humble self-reflection
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Remind people to think critically in social media

Critical thinking is hard, so it’s not surprising that we often avoid doing it. This may be particularly true in social media contexts as this article on the research of David Rand and Gordon Pennycook, points out:


“Most people browse Twitter and Facebook to unwind … hardly the mindset you want to adopt when engaging in cognitively demanding tasks.”


In a recent New York Times op-ed, Rand and Pennycook discuss their research findings and conclude:


“This body of evidence suggests that the main factor explaining the acceptance of fake news could be cognitive laziness, especially in the context of social media, where news items are often skimmed or merely glanced at.”


Motivated reasoning (and not mere laziness) is probably still part of the story, but this research suggests that simply reminding people to think critically may have some positive impact.

© 2019 by Jason Riis