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UCSD Psychology Article Analysis and Classmates Discussion


To demonstrate how confirmation bias works and identify strengths and weaknesses of mainstream psychology articles.


Every day, we see several articles and blog posts about new research findings. It is tempting to skim the headline of an article or instagram post and take what is said at face value without looking deeper into the source. However, part of being a consumer of research is being able to a) identify “good” science and b) understanding how our own biases play into the media we consume.

Please watch this 8 minute video on confirmation bias and filter bubbles.

Then, go to google (Links to an external site.) and do a search on a topic related to psychology. Some potential search terms include (you can use your own terms too as long as the theme is around psychology):

  • Alzheimer’s and telomeres
  • Environmental determinants of autism
  • Social media use and memory
  • Marijuana and memory
  • Social media and self-esteem
  • COVID-19 and coping
  • Political ideology and parenting style

Once you have completed your search, please answer the following questions:

  1. What search term did you use
  2. Insert a screen shot of the results that were generated
  3. Think about your own “filter bubble” do you think your search generated results based on your prior search history and who you follow, links you click, etc? Why or why not?
  4. Pick one of the first THREE search results. Copy and paste the article link and summarize the article findings in 3-4 sentences.
  5. Now, analyze the quality of the article and address the following things:
    • Where was the article published?
    • What are the author’s credentials- are they qualified to write this article?
    • Did the author cite their sources either directly in the article or in a reference page at the end (or both)?
    • Did the author make any emotional appeals?
    • Did the author present the information through a specific lens or was the focus mainly on facts?


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