Evaluating Facts

LESSON SUMMARY

In this lesson, you will learn about the difference between fact and opinion. In addition, you will learn how to differentiate between accurate, objective information and that which is false and/or biased.

Most people would agree that a newspaper is a good source of recent factual information. However, the last time you were in the supermarket checkout line did you notice a newspaper (or two, or three?) with headlines about the impending end of the life on Earth, or about alien encounters with political figures, or monkeys with children's heads attached? You know the difference between these types of newspapers and the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. The latter are widely agreed to be trustworthy resources, while the former are considered entertainment.

But there is more to determining accuracy and objectivity in informational sources than being able to tell the difference between news reporting and a story about the prophecies of Nostradamus. The differences between truthful, impartial resources and those that claim to be can be subtle and therefore the development of a skeptical eye is necessary before you rely on any resource to make an important decision or solve a problem.

If you take everything you read, see, and hear at face value (that is, as factual and unbiased), you may rely on fiction rather than fact. In such a case, not only will your decision or solution be questioned, but you might end up looking less intelligent as well. Finding resources is not enough—you need to become a skeptic. Look at each resource with a critical eye to determine which ones you can trust and which you can't.

The Art Of Cold Reading

The Art Of Cold Reading

Today I'm going to teach you a fundamental Mentalism technique known as 'cold reading'. Cold reading is a technique employed by mentalists and charlatans and by charlatan I refer to psychics, mediums, fortune tellers or anyone that claims false abilities that is used to give the illusion that the person has some form of super natural power.

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