AI chatbots can’t take responsibility for what they say, so we shouldn’t trust them.
Social media has made yelling past each other all the easier.
We Are/DigitalVision via Getty Images
Two concepts can help explain why society seems increasingly unable to agree on basic facts.
Which is it?
Anton Melnyk/iStock via Getty Images Plus
A philosopher unpacks the ‘ethics of belief’ for an age awash in bad information.
Truth is a fact coated in many layers.
K8 / Unsplash
Truth is fundamental to our lives. Human beings cannot exist without truth, but this concept is more complex than we think.
Being able to verify how information is produced is important, especially for academics and journalists.
ChatGPT is a sophisticated AI program that generates text from vast databases. But it doesn’t understand the information it produces, which also can’t be verified through scientific means.
An image of a mock gallows on the grounds of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, is shown during a House committee hearing.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
There are genuine political disagreements, and then there are time-worn strategies for selling denial to the public. A sociologist breaks down the patterns.
A protester holds a Q sign as he waits to enter a campaign rally with then-President Donald Trump in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in August 2018.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Overcoming conspiracy theories isn’t just about information. A scholar of religion explains that the emotions they inspire are part of their appeal.
Studies show that feelings of ease and comfort in a given situation – what psychologists call ‘fluency’ – are tied to feelings of authenticity.
Tara Moore/Getty Images
What if cultivating your authentic self doesn’t involve self-reflection, but instead means focusing on what feels good and natural?
You’re not the only one having trouble discerning the truth.
nicoletaionescu/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Fact-checking risks oversimplifying and distorting Americans’ political conflicts, while not actually helping people find ways to work together productively.
The flood of information can be overwhelming.
Rudzhan Nagiev/iStock/Getty Images Plus
Though many people are just paying attention to these problems now, they are not new – and they even date back to ancient Rome.
Identify and stop the lies.
NLshop/iStock via Getty Images Plus
A social psychologist explains how to avoid being misled, and how to prevent yourself – and others – from spreading inaccurate information.
People who believe aliens have visited Earth are less likely to trust the 2020 election results.
Colin Anderson Productions pty ltd/DigitalVision via Getty Images
Americans who believe aliens have visited Earth are more likely than disbelievers to say that Joe Biden is not the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Polls show that some three-quarters of Republicans claim the election was rigged.
Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis News via Getty Images
When a decision is made and people don’t get the outcome they want, they often tend to see it as unfair. Here’s why.
Guilty? The length of your answer may give it away.
It turns out liars and truth-tellers behave very differently when questioned.
When science and anecdote share a podium, you must decide how to value each.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images
How much weight would you put on a scientist’s expertise versus the opinion of a random stranger? People on either end of the political spectrum decide differently what seems true.
The CDC has put out several conflicting messages of late, giving rise to concerns about trust.
Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
The CDC has released conflicting messages on masks and transmission of the coronavirus. A scholar explains the nature of trust and why institutions need to be careful.
The more politicized an issue, the harder it is for people to absorb contradictory evidence.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images News via Getty Images
Whether in situations relating to scientific consensus, economic history or current political events, denialism has its roots in what psychologists call ‘motivated reasoning.’
President Donald Trump, flanked by administration and public health officials, during a briefing on the coronavirus on March 25.
Getty/Mandel Ngan / AFP
Journalism’s ethics code says the press must ‘seek truth and report it,’ and also minimize harm. During a public health crisis, how should the press deal with President Trump’s inaccuracies and lies?
Understandings of truth may be found in the Muses’ words.
Jacopo Tintoretto's The Muses/Wikpedia
Is making sense of a story more important than getting at its truth? Looking at the treatment of myth in ancient Greece may help us navigate what is true, and whether that matters.
Post-truth questions the very nature of truth itself – that’s why it’s so dangerous.