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The anchoring effect is a cognitive bias whereby an individual's decisions are influenced by a particular reference point or 'anchor'. Both numeric and non-numeric anchoring have been reported in research. In numeric anchoring, once the value of the anchor is set, subsequent arguments, estimates, etc. made by an individual may change from what they would have otherwise been without the anchor.
For example, an individual may be more likely to purchase a car if it is placed alongside a more expensive model (the anchor).
Prices discussed in negotiations that are lower than the anchor may seem reasonable, perhaps even cheap to the buyer, even if said prices are still relatively higher than the actual market value of the car.
Another example may be when estimating the orbit of Mars, one might start with the Earth's orbit (365 days) and then adjust upward until they reach a value that seems reasonable (usually less than 687 days, the correct answer).
Continue exploring more about the anchoring bias in the Anchoring Bias group, or continue to the next lesson.
Confirmation Bias (Bias)
Cognitive Dissonance (Bias)
In the field of psychology, cognitive dissonance is the perception of contradictory information, and the mental toll of it.
Relevant items of information include a person's actions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, values, and things in the environment.
Cognitive dissonance is typically experienced as psychological stress when persons participate in an action that goes against one or more of those things.
According to this theory, when two actions or ideas are not psychologically consistent with each other, people do all in their power to change them until they become consistent.
The discomfort is triggered by the person's belief clashing with new information perceived, wherein the individual tries to find a way to resolve the contradiction to reduce their discomfort.
Continue exploring more about the cognitive dissonance in the Cognitive Dissonance discussion group, or continue to the next lesson.
Confirmation Bias (Bias)
Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one's prior beliefs or values.
People display this bias when they select information that supports their views, ignoring contrary information, or when they interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing attitudes.
The effect is strongest for desired outcomes, for emotionally charged issues, and for deeply entrenched beliefs. Confirmation bias cannot be eliminated, but it can be managed, for example, by education and training in critical thinking skills.
Continue exploring more about the confirmation bias in the Confirmation Bias group, or continue to the next lesson.
Cognitive Dissonance (Bias)
Media bias is the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of many events and stories that are reported and how they are covered.
The term "media bias" implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening of the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist or article. The direction and degree of media bias in various countries is widely disputed.
Continue exploring more about biases in media in the Media Bias group, or continue to the next lesson.
Red Herring (Fallacy)
A red herring is something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question. It may be either a logical fallacy or a literary device that leads readers or audiences toward a false conclusion. A red herring may be used intentionally, as in mystery fiction or as part of rhetorical strategies (e.g., in politics), or may be used in argumentation inadvertently.
The term was popularized in 1807 by English polemicist William Cobbett, who told a story of having used a strong-smelling smoked fish to divert and distract hounds from chasing a rabbit.
Continue exploring more about this fallacy in the Red Herring fallacy group, or continue to the next lesson.
Media Bias (Bias)
Welcome to Bias and Fallacy!
This section is created to introduce basic concepts in bias and fallacy and how to identify and avoid them in discussion.
Bias is a disproportionate weight in favor of or against an idea or thing, usually in a way that is closed-minded, prejudicial, or unfair. Biases can be innate or learned. People may develop biases for or against an individual, a group, or a belief.
Biases exists in many forms and can exist in any field of practice such as science, law and in news and media as well. It is important to be aware of them in order for citizens, educators and professionals to make sound decesions.
A fallacy is the use of invalid or otherwise faulty reasoning, or "wrong moves," in the construction of an argument which may appear stronger than it really is if the fallacy is not spotted.
Some fallacies may be committed intentionally to manipulate or persuade by deception.
Others may be committed unintentionally because of human limitations such as carelessness, cognitive or social biases and ignorance, or, potentially, as the inevitable consequence of the limitations of language and understanding of language.
As you complete each lesson learning about types of bias and fallacy, the practice of identifying and avoiding their use can help discussion stay more productive, civil and focused on the topic.
Ad Hominem (Fallacy)
A straw man (sometimes written as strawman) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy of having the impression of refuting an argument, whereas the real subject of the argument was not addressed or refuted, but instead replaced with a false one.
One who engages in this fallacy is said to be "attacking a straw man".
Continue exploring more about this fallacy in the Strawman fallacy group, or continue to the next lesson.
Red Herring (Fallacy)
Ad Hominem Fallacy
Typically, this term refers to a rhetorical strategy where the speaker attacks the character, motive, or some other attribute of the person making an argument rather than addressing the substance of the argument itself.
The most common form of ad hominem is "A makes a claim x, B asserts that A holds a property that is unwelcome, and hence B concludes that argument x is wrong".
Continue exploring more about this fallacy in the Ad Hominem fallacy group, or continue to the next lesson.
Media Literacy Intro (Step 1)
Media Literacy Intro (Step 2)
Media Literacy Intro (Step 3)
Media Literacy Intro (Step 4)
~ The abilities to access, analyze, evaluate, and create various media messages in a variety of forms.
As new forms of media have been adopted, such as the printing press, TV or the internet, new skill have become necessary to use them in a beneficial way.
Why is media literacy important? Because free societies rely on informed citizens to facilitate the civil discourse for social and economic reform.
Media is “anything” by which a communication or message is transited.
All media is constructed by a people usually for economic purposes and/or special interests.
Since media is only a construct of the real world, it should “not” be considered reality.
Important context can often be missed or omitted from historical record.
Biases are inherent in human perception and decision making.
But may be reduced through public awareness and the practice of better methods in media creation.
In news and media, biases exist with the publisher when created, with the viewer when interpreting that information and within the framing of subject matter itself.
Since media is constructed, it is made to get some type of action or reaction from the viewer. Ads are made to sell a product directly, where news outlets should promote an ideology of ethical and transparent methods in news creation and retain trust from their audience by sourcing valuable, actionable and newsworthy information.
You have completed an intro to Media Literacy! We hope you have learned something new and will put these skill to good use.
Here is an Overview:
Join the discussion and continue learning more in the Media Literacy group.
Or continue to the next lesson.
News & Journalism - Lesson 2
What is News & Journalism?
Laws and Rights
“The Elements of Journalism“
Common Methods in Journalism
News refers generally to new information or recent events that have occurred and are considered of importance or interest to the public.
Journalism is the practice of gathering, writing, and reporting on that news and information considered to be in the interests of the public. It involves investigating and seeking out the truth, and presenting it in an accurate, fair, and balanced way so that people can make wise choices in their lives and communities.
Journalism is an important part of a functioning democracy, as it helps to hold those in power accountable and provides a forum for public debate and discussion.
Journalism provides a critical source of information for the public, helping people to stay informed about what is happening in their communities and around the world.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
“The Elements of Journalism“
Though methods of communication have advanced over time, the principles of journalism remain the same.
The 5 W's (also known as the 5 W's and H) are a set of questions that journalists use to gather information about a news story. The 5 W's are:
Inverse Pyramid - Is a method used by news outlets and journalists to organize information in a way that makes it easier for readers to understand and follow.
You have completed an introduction to some of the basic concepts and methods in the production of News and Journalism. Practice these tips and explore more in the News and Journalism Literacy section or continue to the next lesson.
Bias & Fallacy
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