Posts Tagged ‘decision making’

"Fake news" on wooden game tiles.

Misinformation, disinformation, fake news…. All these terms, in general, describe the same thing: information that is out of context, missing details, lacking reputable sources, or is just plain false. We hear about misinformation within the context of world or political news a lot, but misleading information can appear elsewhere. Misleading and incorrect information shared about health and wellness and can lead to health decisions that could put you at risk. If something seems suspicious, it might be worth a fact check!

Mediawise, a branch of the fact-checking site Poynter suggests these three questions when looking to discover if something is factual or missing the mark.

  1. Who published the information?
    • By answering this question, you may uncover a potential bias by the author or agency. For example, a company selling a weight loss supplement may not be the best place to learn about a new “miracle” vitamin that the company is selling. A good place to begin this step of the fact-check is to look at who is sharing the information and how they will benefit from such a claim.
  2. What is the evidence?
    • Looking more into the evidence behind the claim can shed light on information that supports or discounts the claim. This article claims, “Teenager left ‘blind’ from diet of Pringles, chips and bread”.  When reading this headline alone, it is easy to be skeptical of the information presented. Looking at the evidence, it is a BBC article and they are a reputable news source without a bias for reporting the story. They interview experts familiar to the case in question and share the science behind what happened. The article also cites a case study from a reputable medical journal that shows further evidence to support the headline’s claim.
  3. What do other sources say?
    • A search of keywords in the suspicious article is a good way to find out what other sources say about the topic. When investigating a “miracle” vitamin or fact checking another claim, look for trustworthy, evidence-based sources. Depending on the topic, a reputable fact checking site may have already done the work for you!

Doing a fact-check only takes a few moments, it can help you make evidence-based decisions. A fact check might just prevent you from sharing misleading or false information on your social media feed.

Author: Courtney Woelfl, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Cuyahoga County

Reviewer: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Miami County         


Roberts, M. BBC. (2019). Teenager ‘blind’ from living off crisps and chips. https://www.bbc.com/news/health-49551337

WBUR. (2020). ‘Everything’s Worth A Fact-Check’: Network Teaches Teens To Debunk Online Myths. https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2020/08/11/mediawise-teen-fact-checking-network

World Health Organization (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Mythbusters.  https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters#pepper

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Were you part of the 40 – 45% of Americans who made a New Year’s Resolution? If so, you probably picked one of the common resolutions – lose weight, quit smoking, save money, or get fit. The experts say that about half of those who make a resolution are successful for at least six months. The interesting thing that psychologist have found is that if we set a resolution, we are 10 times more likely to make a change than those who are trying to make a change, but haven’t declared it as a resolution. We are only a couple days into the New Year and you still have plenty of time to work on your resolution or goal so that you can find success with it. Here are a few tips to increase your chances of having a successful resolution:

  • If your resolution was to lose weight, don’t start with a goal that is overly high. Maybe you would like to lose 40 pounds, but the best way to have success is to break down your goal to smaller pieces. Start with the things that will help with that weight loss – “I’m going to work out for 30 minutes, 3 times per week” or “I’m not going to order French fries” or “I’m going to give up sweet tea”. Be sure you write down a measurable goal and keep a log or chart.
  • If your resolution was to save money or reduce your debt and you haven’t been saving at all, start small. Try a couple months of having $10 or $20 taken out of your check and directly deposited in a savings account – and don’t cut into it unless there is an emergency. (By emergency I mean, your car broke down, not the shoe store had a sale.) Then when you get a raise increase the amount or if you have an overtime check – add to it.
  • If your resolution related to getting a better job, or maybe just getting back into the workforce – put deadlines on your steps. By January 15 I will use the resources available at my local library or on the Chamber job website – for example. If you need further education to get a better job, give yourself a deadline to call the local community college or adult education program to find out what is available.
  • If you resolution was to take a special trip – start by doing research about how much it will cost, get books from the library to find out what you want to do, go online and order any free maps or brochures, and start saving a little out of each paycheck for your trip. If you get a decent income tax refund this year – save as much as you can – or use it to order your plane tickets.

If you didn’t decide on a resolution on New Year’s Day – it isn’t too late – write one down today. Focus on goals that are realistic, with measurable results that you can chip away at, and hold yourself accountable. But don’t be too quick to give up, if you have had a hard week and things didn’t go as well as you would have liked, set a small goal that you know you can succeed with for the next couple days. You may also need to change who you spend time with to succeed, we do imitate those we are around. If you want to quit smoking, but you take your breaks with a friend who smokes, it will probably be hard for you. You might need to take breaks with a co-worker who doesn’t smoke for a while. Most importantly, don’t keep your resolution to yourself; share it with someone you trust that can encourage you when you get off track.

Written by: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.


American Psychological Association, Monitor on Psychology, S. Dingfelder, Vol 35, No 1, http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan04/solutions.aspx.

University of Maryland Medical Center, Where to Begin: Expert Advice on Maintaining Resolutions, http://www.umm.edu/features/prepare.htm.

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