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Are you ‘Information Literate’?

It’s much easier to make a credible looking website than it is to make a credible looking book. So when you’re on the web, how do you evaluate the credibility of the information you’ve found? On average, it seems, not very well!

Research carried out a couple of years ago found that people use only superficial cues when making judgements about a site. In other words, if it looks professional, then it is. People are generally ‘cognitive misers’, tending not to check the credentials of the author or their motivation in making the information available. The new buzz phrase for this type of skill is ‘information literacy’.

About the author

Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.

He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:

Dr Dean’s bio, Twitter, Facebook and how to contact him.

One immediate practical implication is that every organisation needs a professional looking website or visitors won’t take it seriously.
→ From the New York Times (Free registration required)

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