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Articles on Truth

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When science and anecdote share a podium, you must decide how to value each. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Conservatives value personal stories more than liberals do when evaluating scientific evidence

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

Why mixed messaging can erode trust in institutions

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.
President Donald Trump, flanked by administration and public health officials, during a briefing on the coronavirus on March 25. Getty/Mandel Ngan / AFP

It’s a bad idea for journalists to censor Trump – instead, they can help the public identify what’s true or false

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?
Deepfakes make it harder for us to communicate truths to one another and reach consensus on what is real. Screenshot

People who spread deepfakes think their lies reveal a deeper truth

We know that social media platforms have an incentive to promote whatever gets the most attention, regardless of its authenticity. We're more reluctant to admit that the same is true of people.
Doubting Thomas needed the proof, just like a scientist, and now is a cautionary Biblical example. Caravaggio/Wikimedia Commons

Yes, there is a war between science and religion

An evolutionary biologist makes the case that there's no reconciling science and religion. In the search for truth, one tests hypotheses while the other relies on faith.
Does your body give away if you’re lying or not? AP Photo/Edward Kitch

Is a polygraph a reliable lie detector?

It would be great to know for sure when someone is lying and when someone is telling the truth. But no technology that purports to do so is foolproof.
We don’t automatically question information we read or hear. Gaelfphoto/Shutterstock.com

Why you stink at fact-checking

Cognitive psychologists know the way our minds work means we not only don't notice errors and misinformation we know are wrong, we also then remember them as true.

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