Webinar: Building Scientific Literacy: Fake (Science) News in the Classroom with Susan A. Nolan

Created by Morgan Ratner Employee on Aug 21, 2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017 at

Starts at 3:00 PM · Ends at 4:00 PM, EDT (America/New_York)

  • Morgan Ratner

Political “fake news” gets a lot of press, but science “fake news” is just as dangerous, and can stunt the development of a psychologically literate citizenry. People are perhaps even more willing to accept scientific stories uncritically when they are delivered via social media, both because evidence-based stories, exaggerations, and outright hoaxes look the same in our newsfeed and because of the human tendency to mistake a story’s frequency for its accuracy. As instructors, we can harness evidence from psychological science to help students think critically about science news, including in the absence of markers of legitimacy (e.g., in a journal or respected news source). We can teach students how to differentiate among robust scientific findings, fake news, and real news that is light on science (e.g., “clickbait”). Through classroom activities and related assignments, we can help students build the “need for cognition” that drives us to enjoy thinking critically and scientifically about information.


In this Webinar, Susan Nolan will summarize the research on why we fall prey to fake stories, the research on how we can overcome it, and tools we can use in the classroom – tools that can help students evaluate scientific findings germane to psychology and develop skills that can generalize far beyond the classroom.