Part 1 Evaluate the credibility of the author and the quality of the information in each of the 3 sources by utilizing “question to ask when evaluating a source” posted below.
Questions to Ask When Evaluating a Source (adapted from Lawson & Brown, 2018)
Evaluating the author (answer all questions in sentence format)
What are the author’s credentials? Does he or she have a doctoral degree in psychology or a closely related scientific field (e.g., biology)? If so, has the author been trained in an area of psychology (or another scientific field) closely related to the subject of the article? Is the author affiliated with a reputable institution? Be aware that some people use the title “Dr.” to give the appearance of expertise in psychology even though their doctoral degree is in a field unrelated to psychology.
Is there reason to question the author’s objectivity? Does the author stand to gain financially from the information, and might this compromise his or her credibility?
Evaluating the information (answer all questions in sentence format)
Does the author make extraordinary claims that seem to defy logic or scientific understanding?
Is the information based on fact or opinion?
Does the author use mostly anecdotal evidence, testimonials, personal experience, or other unreliable evidence to support his or her claims?
Is the information supported with references to scientific research? If so, was the research published in a reputable, peer-reviewed scientific journal?
Does the author give enough detail that you can obtain the references yourself to verify the information?
Does the author review more than just one or two studies that support his or her claims?
Does the author avoid or seem unfairly critical of evidence that contradicts his or her claims?
Have other reputable scientists made the same claim as the author? Have other scientists replicated the research used to support the author’s claims?
Determine which sources were best (i.e., consider the credibility of the author, quality of the information, and the amount of scientific evidence).
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