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Critical Thinking Tutorial: Information Trustworthiness

This tutorial will empower you with valuable critical thinking skills that are essential for your university education.

Evaluating Trustworthiness

How did you do on the image recognition activity? Did your ability to recognize the fake image improve with each attempt?

Being able to verify the authenticity of digital content is becoming increasingly difficult, especially in the age of Generative AI. Nevertheless, honing your media literacy skills and improving your ability to think critically about media will be key factors in effectively navigating this fast-evolving landscape and evaluating the authenticity and reliability of digital content.

Below are a few guidelines to help you get started.

Determine What Information Trustworthiness Means

Trustworthiness refers to the reliability and credibility of an information source. A reliable and credible information source delivers accurate and unbiased information that is characterized by any combination of these:

  • Authority: Recognized expertise or reputable institutions.
  • Accuracy: Factual, well-researched, and supported by evidence.
  • Objectivity and Lack of Bias: Impartial and free from personal or ideological influences.
  • Currency: Up-to-date information reflecting the latest research or developments.
  • Citations and References: Properly attributing and acknowledging external sources.
  • Peer Review and Editorial Processes: Rigorous evaluation by experts in the field.
Hone Your Fact Checking Skills by Learning to Read Laterally

Source: Lateral Reading by UofL Research Assistance & Instruction
Adopt a Strategy like SIFT to Evaluate the Trustworthiness of Online Content

SIFT is an acronym for STOP, INVESTIGATE, FIND and TRACE. It promotes media literacy by encouraging you to first verify online information before you accept or share it. Developed by Mike Caulfield, SIFT is known as 'The Four Moves' because it involves four distinct actions you can take to evaluate the credibility of online information.

These videos describe each step of the SIFT method in detail. Watch both videos if you require additional context about when to use each step.

Source: Using SIFT to Evaluate Sources for Credibility by Vanderbilt Libraries on YouTube

Source: SIFT: Evaluating Web Content by Wayne State University Libraries on YouTube

Practice, Practice, Practice

Use the Information Hotspots to help you complete the SIFT activity below.




SIFT Activity - Evaluate the Trustworthiness of these Online Sources