Despite our rational nature, our ability to reason well is often affected by psychological biases that interfere with the formation of good arguments.

1. Despite our rational nature, our ability to reason well is often affected by psychological biases that interfere with the formation of good arguments. Identify three such biases and explain how they negatively impact our ability to reason.

2. The advent of social media has changed the norms and modes of public discourse. In at least 200 words, explain the importance of (a) evaluating and fact-checking individual claims, (b) the benefits and negatives of instantaneous mass communication, and (c) the need for civility in online interactions.

3. Identify the fallacy: “Bob is trustworthy because he says so, and we can trust what Bob says because he’s trustworthy.”

Fallacy of composition
Begging the question
Genetic falacy
Appeal to authority
Ad hominem4. Identify the fallacy: “All banks have money. All rivers have banks. Therefore, all rivers have money.”EquivocationAd hominemSlippery slopeAppeal to ignoranceFalse cause5. Identify the fallacy: “You shouldn’t trust Bob. His best friend is a racist.”Appeal to popularityAppeal to ignoranceAppeal to traditionTwo wrongs make a rightGuilt by association6. Identify the fallacy: “Republicans are extremists who believe that government is fundamentally evil.”False dilemmaFallacy of compositionStraw manAd hominemBegging the question7. Identify the fallacy: “You should buy Pepsi because Taylor Swift said so.”Appeal to authorityFalse dilemmaEquivocationAppeal to pityFallacy of division8. Identify two techniques that are often used to slant the news.9. Compare and contrast “old media” with “new media.”10. Define rationalization and explain how it is it sometimes applied.11. What is a “defense mechanism,” in the context of poor reasoning?12. What is good news-reporting supposed to look like?

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