Psychology discussion questions

Despite our rational nature, our ability to reason well is often affected by psychological biases that interfere with the formation of good arguments. Identify three such biases and explain how they negatively impact our ability to reason.

The advent of social media has changed the norms and modes of public discourse. In at least 200 words, explain the importance of (a) evaluating and fact-checking individual claims, (b) the benefits and negatives of instantaneous mass communication, and (c) the need for civility in online interactions.

Identify the fallacy: “Bob is trustworthy because he says so, and we can trust what Bob says because he’s trustworthy.”

Identify the fallacy: “All banks have money. All rivers have banks. Therefore, all rivers have money.”

Identify the fallacy: “You shouldn’t trust Bob. His best friend is a racist.”

Identify the fallacy: “Republicans are extremists believe that government is fundamentally evil.”

Identify the fallacy: “You should buy Pepsi because Taylor Swift said so.”

Identify two techniques that are often used to slant the news.

Compare and contrast “old media” with “new media.”

Define rationalization and explain how it is it sometimes applied.

What is a “defense mechanism,” in the context of poor reasoning?

What is good news-reporting supposed to look like?


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