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Prefer Like-minded Views

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peerreviewedarticle.jpgStudies like this make me think we need to emphasize information literacy even more and be much more aware of how difficult critical thinking is--it goes against the brain...

"The analysis, reported this month in Psychological Bulletin, was led by researchers at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida, and included data from 91 studies involving nearly 8,000 participants."

"Receiving information that supports one's position on an issue allows people to conclude that their views are correct but may often obscure reality. In contrast, receiving
information that contradicts one's view on an issue can cause people to feel misled or ignorant but may allow access to a valid representation of reality. Therefore, understanding how people strive to feel validated versus to be correct is critical to
explicating how they select information about an issue when several alternatives are present. We conducted a meta-analysis of field and laboratory studies on information exposure to shed light on these issues."

Hart, W., Albarrac─▒n, D., Eagly, A. H., Brechan, I., Lindberg, M. J., & Merrill, L. (2009). Feeling Validated Versus Being Correct: A Meta-Analysis of Selective Exposure to Information. Psychological Bulletin, 135(4), 555-588. doi: 10.1037/a0015701.

Making us smarter?

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Pandemics. Global warming. Food shortages. No more fossil fuels. What are humans to do? The same thing the species has done before: evolve to meet the challenge. But this time we don't have to rely on natural evolution to make us smart enough to survive. We can do it ourselves, right now, by harnessing technology and pharmacology to boost our intelligence. Is Google actually making us smarter?
by Jamais Cascio
The Atlantic (July/August 2009)

Great Article for FYW

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Leckie, G. (1996, May). Desperately seeking citations: Uncovering faculty assumptions about the undergraduate research... Journal of Academic Librarianship, 22(3), 201. Link to article:

"Overworked reference librarians in college and university libraries have all too often described the following scenario: A first year student timidly approaches the reference desk with a question--where would you find information about abortion? Further probing by the librarian reveals (thankfully) that this question has nothing to do with the student's personal situation, but is a topic the student has chosen for a research paper in a first year sociology course.

The librarian asks what particular aspects of abortion the student is interested in, and in response, the student silently shows the librarian the handout she received in class about the research paper. For their paper, the students must choose any controversial topic of current interest to society, discuss why the topic is controversial, and consider the societal implications of different courses of action with respect to the issue. On the handout, examples of controversial topics are suggested, including gay rights, abortion, ordination of women, and banning the seal hunt. The paper is due by the end of term, and must demonstrate the use of both books and journals.

By the end of the day, several more students have approached the desk about their topics for this paper. By the end of the week, about 200 students have asked for help on this assignment. More are still likely to come, many with only days left until the paper is due. All are desperately seeking citations. "