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What real-life stakes are in play for you?

by | Nov 1, 2022 | Psychology | 0 comments

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There are multiple sections of this Skill Demonstration. Please keep these sections separate in your submission. This skill demonstration requires you to search external sources for examples in the news and social media. There are some important criteria you must follow:
All examples must include an embedded link to the source. (e.g., This is an embedded link to a tweet by President Joe BidenLinks to an external site..)
All examples must come from a public figure. Links to an external site. (E.g., someone with a “blue check” on Twitter is generally considered a public figure.) Do not use examples posted by people in your immediate social circle – personal friends, family members, colleagues, etc.)
Fallacies of Questionable Premises
1. Search social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) or reputable news sites for two posts or articles that demonstrate an instance of the use of questionable premises. Make you get examples of two different questionable premise fallacies: straw man, false dilemma, begging the question, etc.
2. For each example, identify the fallacy and include a short excerpt from the source where you think the fallacious reasoning is most clearly recognizable.
3. Explain why this example counts as an instance of the fallacy you’ve identified. Be especially careful to explain your reasoning here. Avoid the “False Accusation of Fallacy” fallacy! Conclude by considering what consequences these instances of publicly fallacious reasoning might have in the long run.
Fallacies of Invalid Inferences
1. Search social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) or reputable news sites for three posts or articles that demonstrate an instance of the use of invalid inferences. Make you get examples of three different questionable premise fallacies: guilt by association, ad hominem, composition & division, small sample, etc.
2. For each example, identify the fallacy and include a short excerpt from the source where you think the fallacious reasoning is most clearly recognizable.
3. Explain why this example counts as an instance of the fallacy you’ve identified. Be especially careful to explain your reasoning here. Avoid the “False Accusation of Fallacy” fallacy! Conclude by considering what consequences these instances of publicly fallacious reasoning might have in the long run.
Evaluating the Sources
Apply the critical tools we’ve practiced in Unit 2 and evaluate each of the sources you referenced above:
1. In what context does the source appear? To what questions, or in light of what other prevailing discourses, is the author speaking?
2. What kind of public figure is the author? What experiences or insights might they have (or not) into the topic they’re commenting on?
2. Is the author an expert? If so, what kind? Is that expertise relevant to the claim they are making?
a.If the author is not an expert, just a public figure expressing an argument, are they claiming expertise they don’t have? Or does the argument not require the input of experts? Would the argument benefit from the input of an expert or not? And what kind of expert?
4. What is the source’s responsibility as a public figure, in this instance?
Psychological Impediments to Critical Thinking
1. How did you feel when you encountered each post or article? What immediate feelings did each trigger in you?
2. Why did those feelings arise? What deeper desires, concerns, interests, or anxieties are they connected to?
a. What real-life stakes are in play for you?
3. Are your interpretations of the posts or articles in good faith? How are your feelings shaping your interpretations? Should you reevaluate your charges of fallacy, or are you confident about them?
4. Without trying to psychoanalyze the sources, try to imagine what concerns, desires, interests, and anxieties are in play for the author. What real-life stakes might be in play for each author? What institutional pressures might be influencing their reasoning?

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