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Fake News!: Confirmation Bias

What is Confirmation Bias?

If you only read the news source that you know aligns with your ideological beliefs, or purposefully avoid the news source that disagrees with your beliefs, you are suffering from confirmation bias!

Confirmation bias refers to our need to intake information that we know will agree with our pre-existing beliefs and to ignore those that we disagree with. By doing this, we create an echo chamber where we never see information we disagree with and are unable to see the other side of the argument.

How to stop Confirmation Bias

1. Don't use news aggregators!

News aggregators gather news articles for you from various sources on various topics. However, they often use algorithms that deliver you only articles that you want to see- just like your ads on Facebook are tailored to your previous Amazon search history. These aggregators make it easy to create a echo chamber where you only see the news you'll agree with.

2. Read widely.

Don't read just one news source- read several. Try to read across the ideological spectrum as well. If you're reading Huffpost, check out Fox News, too. Go directly to the website, however (see above why news aggregators are bad). If the source you want to read requires a subscription- check to see if the library has that newspaper before you buy a subscription.

3. Be careful on social media

Social media makes it VERY easy to live in an echo chamber. Don't trust what you find on social media as your primary source of the news. 

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