November 25, 2016
Shockingly large numbers of America’s middle school, high school and even college students are stunningly unable to process the media information that sloshes over them on a daily basis, according to a study released this week by Stanford University’s History Education Group.
The Stanford researchers behind the study evaluated 7,804 students from a very wide variety of backgrounds in 12 U.S. states. Some students attended hardscrabble city schools in Los Angeles, for example. Others attended schools in middle-class Minnesota suburbs. Some were enrolled at Stanford, an elite university with an acceptance rate under 6 percent.
“When it comes to evaluating information that flows through social media channels,” the researchers behind the study wrote, these kids today are “easily duped.”
For example, the researchers asked participating high school students to look at an Imgur.com photo of some mutant-looking daisies with the caption “this is what happens when flowers get nuclear birth defects.” Almost 40 percent of the high schoolers decided that the photo was powerful evidence of nuclear radiation near Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in spite of the fact that the photo actually contained zero evidence suggesting that the daisies were anywhere near the nuclear plant. There was also no indication concerning the photo’s origin.
This article was posted: Friday, November 25, 2016 at 12:42 pm