By Daniel J. Levitin
From The New York instances bestselling writer of THE prepared brain and this can be YOUR mind ON tune, a primer to the severe pondering that's extra helpful now than ever.
We are bombarded with additional information every day than our brains can process—especially in election season. it really is raining undesirable information, half-truths, or even outright lies. New York Times bestselling writer Daniel J. Levitin shows the best way to realize deceptive bulletins, data, graphs, and written studies revealing the methods mendacity weasels can use them.
it truly is turning into more durable to split the wheat from the electronic chaff. How can we distinguish incorrect information, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from trustworthy details? Levitin teams his box consultant into categories—statistical infomation and defective arguments—ultimately exhibiting how technological know-how is the bedrock of serious considering. Infoliteracy ability realizing that there are hierarchies of resource caliber and bias that variously distort our details feeds through each media channel, together with social media. We may possibly count on newspapers, bloggers, the govt., and Wikipedia to be factually and logically right, yet they so frequently should not. we have to imagine severely concerning the phrases and numbers we come upon if we wish to be triumphant at paintings, at play, and in profiting from our lives. this suggests checking the plausibility and reasoning—not passively accepting details, repeating it, and making judgements in keeping with it. Readers discover ways to stay away from the extremes of passive gullibility and cynical rejection. Levitin's fascinating, enjoyable, obtainable consultant may also help an individual get up to a complete lot of items that are not so. And trap a few mendacity weasels of their tracks!
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Extra resources for A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age
You can do even better than this. Suppose in your first year of operation, you had only part-time employees, earning $40,000 per year. By year two, you had only full-time employees, earning the $66,000 mentioned above. You can honestly claim that average employee earnings went up 65 percent. What a great employer you are! But here you are glossing over the fact that you are comparing part-time with full-time. S. Steel did it back in the 1940s. • • • In criminal trials, the way the information is presented—the framing—profoundly affects jurors’ conclusions about guilt.
According to the New York Times: After only two months, the state released numbers suggesting that births to welfare mothers had already fallen by 16 percent, and officials began congratulating themselves on their overnight success. Note that they’re not counting pregnancies, but births. What’s wrong here? Because it takes nine months for a pregnancy to come to term, any effect in the first two months cannot be attributed to the law itself but is probably due to normal fluctuations in the birth rate (birth rates are known to be seasonal).
2 times as much as any other street. Before the city council gives the residents of this street an award for their green city efforts, let’s ask what might give rise to such a number. One possibility is that this street has more than twice as many residents as other streets—perhaps because it is longer, perhaps because there are a lot of apartment buildings on it. Measuring recycling at the level of the street is not the relevant statistic unless all streets are otherwise identical.