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Cover

Applying Critical Thinking to Modern Media

Effective Reasoning about Claims in the New Media Landscape

Author Lewis Vaughn

Publication Date - August 2020

ISBN: 9780190085902

352 pages
Looseleaf

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $48.99

The only book that teaches critical thinking skills by applying them to the consumption of modern media

Description

Applying Critical Thinking to Modern Media is the only book that teaches critical thinking skills by applying them to the consumption of modern media. Author Lewis Vaughn emphasizes the habits of mind that are prerequisites for making sense of today's media landscape--reasonable skepticism, metacognition, overview perspective, openness, intellectual humility, and responsibility--and develops these dispositions by showing students how to apply critical thinking skills to the creation and evaluation of media messages of all kinds. Through active engagement with this vitally important area, Applying Critical Thinking to Modern Media prepares students to be independent and intelligent consumers of the information that they encounter in their daily lives.

The text is available as an enhanced eBook, which contains examples of text and video drawn from websites and social media. Additional digital resources for students and instructors can be found at https://oup-arc.com/access/vaughn-act1e.

Features

  • Actively engages students with this vitally important area, preparing them to be independent and intelligent consumers of information that they encounter in their daily lives
  • Discusses numerous compelling topics including fake news, filter bubbles, partisan extremism, biased and unreliable sources, post-truth nonsense, pseudoscience, science illiteracy, conspiracy theories, political bias, targeted advertising, propaganda, and more
  • Incorporates numerous exercises, including review questions, exercises for applying critical thinking skills, writing assignments and prompts, and self-assessment quizzes
  • Shows students how to identify, formulate, and assess deductive and inductive arguments

About the Author(s)

Lewis Vaughn is the author or coauthor of several textbooks, including Bioethics, Fourth Edition (2019), The Power of Critical Thinking, Sixth Edition (2018), Philosophy Here and Now, Third Edition (2018), Writing Philosophy, Second Edition (2018), and Living Philosophy, Third Edition (2020).

Reviews

"This is one of the most interesting critical thinking textbooks I have come across in a while. You cannot find a more currently relevant book of its kind."--Manuel P. Arriga, California State University San Marcos

"The political elections of 2016 certainly incited more interest in the media. While some students recognize/recognized 'fake news,' others did not. Just as the author suggests, it is imperative that we, as faculty, emphasize teaching students how to think, not what to think."--J. Dana Trent, Wake Tech Community College

"By including the elements that incorporate actual bits of media that students experience every day, Applying Critical Thinking to Modern Media makes clear to them that this is something that is deeply relevant to their lives. The text's primary strengths are its clarity, timeliness, and practicality."--Karl Stocker, Eastern Connecticut State University

"This is a text with the potential to be a game changer. If modern media is taught properly, as it is here, instructors can reshape the cognitive process for students who are inclined to evaluate and synthesize information on a limited scale, without in-depth analysis."--Jeff Vogel, Saddleback College

Table of Contents

    Preface

    CHAPTER 1. Critical Thinking and the Challenges of Modern Media
    1.1 Turning Information into Knowledge
    CRITICAL THINKING AND PERSONAL FREEDOM
    1.2 Hazards of the Infosphere
    1.3 Post-Truth

    FACT AND OPINION
    1.4 Media Illiteracy
    GOING WITH YOUR GUT: I JUST KNOW!

    CHAPTER 2. Claims, Reasons, and Arguments
    2.1 Claims and Reasons
    HOW TO WIN EVERY ARGUMENT
    2.2 Reasons and Arguments
    2.3 Argument Structure

    THE SMART WAY TO ARGUE ONLINE
    2.4 Argument Patterns
    Deductive Arguments
    DEDUCTIVE PATTERNS WORTH KNOWING
    Enumerative Induction
    Analogical Induction
    Inference to the Best Explanation
    DON'T ARGUE WITH TROLLS
    2.5 Assessing Long Arguments
    The Case for Discrimination
    NO ARGUMENTS, JUST FLUFF

    CHAPTER 3. Obstacles to Critical Thinking
    3.1 All Hail the Self
    IS IT WRONG TO BELIEVE WITHOUT GOOD REASONS?
    3.2 All Hail My Group
    RACISM IS GROUP THINKING AT ITS WORST-BUT WHAT IS IT?
    3.3 The Toughest Mental Obstacles
    Denying Contrary Evidence
    Looking for Confirming Evidence
    Motivated Reasoning
    Preferring Available Evidence
    3.4 Your Brain on Social Media
    Mere Exposure Effect
    Illusion-of-Truth Effect
    False Consensus Effect
    The Dunning-Kruger Effect
    THE BACKFIRE EFFECT

    CHAPTER 4. Fake News
    4.1 Taxonomy of Misinformation
    A FAKE NEWS "MASTERPIECE"
    4.2 Telling Fake from Real
    Read Laterally
    THE ETHICS OF SHARING FAKE NEWS
    Read Critically
    Use Google and Wikipedia Carefully
    DISGUISED, HATEFUL SOURCES
    Check Your Own Biases
    TRUSTWORTHY FACT-CHECKERS
    4.3 Fake Images
    4.4 Deepfakes


    CHAPTER 5. Media Bias
    5.1 Objectivity and Bias
    5.2 Opinion, Analysis, and Advocacy
    5.3 Liberal and Conservative Bias

    CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FACT AND OPINION?
    BIAS AND INCONSISTENCY
    5.4 Commercial Bias
    Pandering
    Sensationalism
    Skewed Focus
    Chasing Advertising
    BIAS AND ACCURACY OF SELECTED SOURCES

    CHAPTER 6. Manipulation through Fallacies and Rhetoric
    6.1 Fallacies: Irrelevant Premises
    Genetic Fallacy
    Composition and Division
    Appeal to the Person
    HOW TO RESPOND TO AD HOMINEM ATTACKS
    Equivocation
    Appeal to Popularity
    Appeal to Tradition
    Appeal to Ignorance
    CAN YOU PROVE A NEGATIVE?
    Appeal to Emotion
    Red Herring
    Straw Man
    FALLACIES WITH IRRELEVANT PREMISES
    Two Wrongs Make a Right
    6.2 Fallacies: Unacceptable Premises
    Begging the Question
    False Dilemma
    Decision-Point Fallacy
    Slippery Slope
    FALLACIES WITH UNACCEPTABLE PREMISES
    Hasty Generalization
    Faulty Analogy
    6.3 Persuaders: Rhetorical Moves
    WHOSE PANTS ARE ON FIRE?
    Innuendo
    Euphemisms and Dysphemisms
    Stereotyping
    WHO IS MORE INTOLERANT-LIBERALS OR CONSERVATIVES?
    Ridicule
    Rhetorical Definitions

    CHAPTER 7. Experts and Evidence
    7.1 Experts and Nonexperts
    ARE DOCTORS EXPERTS?
    7.2 Judging Experts
    DO NONEXPERTS KNOW BEST?
    FALLACIOUS APPEAL TO (QUESTIONABLE) AUTHORITY
    7.3 Experts and Personal Experience
    Impairment
    Expectation
    Causal Confusions
    Misidentifying Relevant Factors
    EYEWITNESS TESTIMONY AND WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS
    Mishandling Multiple Factors
    Being Misled by Coincidence
    Confusing Cause with Temporal Order
    Confusing Cause and Effect
    THE DEADLY POST HOC FALLACY
    7.4 Innumeracy and Probability
    HIERARCHY OF RELIABILITY

    CHAPTER 8. Science, Nonscience, and the Media
    8.1 What Science Is and Is Not

    Science Is Not Ideology
    Science Is Not Motivated Reasoning
    Science Is Not Technology
    SEVEN WARNING SIGNS OF BOGUS SCIENCE
    8.2 How Science Is Done
    NONINTERVENTION (POPULATION) STUDIES
    8.3 Judging Scientific Theories
    Theories and Consistency
    Theories and Criteria
    Testability
    Fruitfulness
    Scope
    Simplicity
    Conservatism
    WHAT'S WRONG WITH CONSPIRACY THEORIES?
    8.4 Telling Good Theories from Bad
    Copernicus versus Ptolemy
    Evolution versus Creationism
    CAN WE SEE EVOLUTION?
    EVOLUTION AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN
    Climate Change
    IS IT TOO LATE TO PREVENT CLIMATE CHANGE?
    IF THE WORLD IS WARMING, WHY ARE SOME WINTERS AND SUMMERS STILL VERY COLD? 259
    8.5 How the Media Get Science Wrong
    Hyping the Science
    Misunderstanding the Science
    Is All Health News Wrong?
    EXPERT REVIEW OF ARTICLE 9: "IS EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT DEPRESSION WRONG?"
    8.6 Scientific Opinion Polls
    HOW SURVEY QUESTIONS GO WRONG
    MEAN, MEDIAN, AND MODE
    TRUSTWORTHY SOURCES IN SCIENCE AND MEDICINE

    CHAPTER 9. Advertising
    9.1 How Advertising Works
    9.2 Internet Advertising

    OLD SCHOOL ADVERTISING TRICKS
    9.3 Political Advertising
    Falsely Portraying a Democratic Candidate as Anti-ICE
    Misleading the Public about a Politician's Voting Record
    Telling an Old Lie about Medicare
    Paying Women and Children to Cross the U.S. Border?
    The Mashup of Two Separate Interviews?
    President Trump Loves Nuclear War?
    Emma Gonzalez Tears Up the U.S. Constitution?

    Appendix A: For Further Reading
    Appendix B: Answers to Exercises
    Glossary
    Notes
    Index