The format of a source does not determine its accuracy, credibility, or reliability. Just because a source is published in a particular format does not mean that we should be fooled into thinking that source is reliable — there have been plenty of academic journal articles, even peer-reviewed articles, that have contained bad, wrong, or misleading information. This is why it is so important for us to evaluate and fact-check our information sources.
Read this article for a real-world example:
“I Fooled Millions Into Thinking Chocolate Helps Weight Loss. Here’s How“ by John Bohannon.
Then: Reflect on what you read and write about your opinions. Think especially on how the author of the article plays with our preconceived notions of authority, and of what’s credible. What does all of that mean to you?
Write a 1 page (or longer) reflection using at least one of these prompts:
What are your reactions to this article? Are you surprised by the success of the author’s experiment?
In the article, how does the author’s exposure of argumentum ad populum, or the belief in something just because it’s popular, give you insight into your own preconceived notions of authority or credibility?
How does all of this information relate to understanding the information creation process? How does this information prove the importance of evaluating sources for reliability, credibility, and accuracy?