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Title:College students’ fake news discernment: Critical thinking, locus of control, need for cognition, and the ability to discern fact from opinion
Author(s):Bak, Hyerin
Subject(s):Fake news
Critical thinking
Media literacy
News literacy
Abstract:The news plays an important role in democracy and informing self-governing citizens, yet there is a growing concern that people are not able to critically read the news. The Pew Research Center in 2018 reported that a sizable portion of the surveyed Americans were not able to distinguish between factual and opinion statements in the news. The Stanford History Education Group reported that many students have trouble judging the credibility of online information. In this age of “fake news,” it is essential to find what causes college students to believe fake news. The purpose of this study is to identify variables that may affect students’ vulnerability to believe fake news, and to suggest models that can explain the relationships between those variables. The study will measure two independent variables: college students’ perception of control over their situations or experiences (locus of control) and the degree to which they engage in and enjoy thinking (need for cognition). The study will examine how these variables influence the students’ abilities to differentiate between fact and opinion when critical thinking is involved. In addition, the study will interview students about their news reading and media literacy practices. The results of this study will have academic and practical implications across many disciplines, such as higher education, library and information science, and media studies, by theorizing models that focus on the role of critical thinking in the evaluation of fake news.
Issue Date:2021-09-20
Series/Report:Information literacy
Academic libraries
Genre:Conference Poster
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17

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