March 23, 2021

EP. 97 — Why “Critical Thinking” Can’t Beat Misinformation, and How to Fight It with Michael Caulfield

We’re flooded with misinformation, and new research shows that cliches about “thinking critically” and “doing your own research” are counterproductive at best. Writer and educator Michael Caulfield joins Adam this week to explain his SIFT method for evaluating misinformation, why expertise is so important, and how we should approach unclear ideas like COVID-19 “lab leak” hypothesis. Learn more about SIFT at


Adam: [00:00:22] Hello, welcome to Factually!, I’m Adam Conover. Let’s start with a couple pieces of housekeeping. If you are shocked and horrified by some of the events of the last week, I am right there with you. And I think it’s incumbent upon all of us that we do everything that we can to push back against the wave of hatred against Asian-Americans and other marginalized communities that we’ve seen over the past year. If you’re looking for someplace to donate, I know that you’ve probably seen lots of lots of lists where to donate to help out. I’ll tell you where I chose to donate, chose to donate to Red Canary Song and to Asian Americans Advancing Justice in Atlanta two groups that support the rights of sex workers and of Asian-Americans, respectively, in Atlanta and around the country. And just as a little addendum, there’s been a lot of talk once again about sex addiction this past week, as though sex addiction were an excuse for th

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