How to Tell If Your Information Is Accurate
You are bombarded with information every day. You search the Internet, obtain advice from friends and family, read product reviews, hear the news on TV, and the list goes on. Ask yourself how much of what you hear or read from friends, colleagues, leaders, and so-called experts is accurate, objective, fair, and comprehensive. What if it’s wrong? How does the information color your ideas and viewpoints?
Although we live in a time in which information is plentiful and easily accessible, it’s worthless if you don’t harness it to your advantage. The key is to scrutinize the information that you receive — evaluating it for accuracy, honesty, objectivity, timeliness, and thoroughness. It also requires you to broaden your horizons, remain open to other peoples’ thoughts and opinions, view things fairly and objectively, and encourage folks to challenge your thinking.
One or many believers don’t determine the truth or untruth.
How to Identify Accurate Information
There are specific things you can do to avoid getting burned by bad information. As a rule of thumb, Ronald Reagan was right when he said, “Trust, but verify.” The next time you search for information, read what’s happening, receive input, get someone’s opinion, or obtain a recommendation, consider whether you:
- Get information secondhand or from its original source?
- Subscribe to information that reinforces your existing beliefs or seek a fresh perspective?
- Accept everything at face value or view it with a healthy dose of skepticism?
- Listen to people because you like them or because they’re respected and reputable?
- Determine whether the information is opinion or fact?
- Believe something is true because it’s well presented or based on its merit?
- Determine whether the message is one-sided or presents both sides of the issue?
- Attack opposing viewpoints or try to see the merit in others’ opinions?
- Accept advice blindly or ask how the conclusion was drawn?
- Assume others know better or trust your own instincts?
If you’re like most people these days, you’re careful about what you put into your body. After all, the food that you consume impacts your energy, strength, brain power, and overall health. If you’re that careful about consuming healthy food, shouldn’t you be equally prudent about how you feed your mind? How accurate is your information?
Check out Frank’s latest book, The Path to a Meaningful Life.
How Accurate Is Your Information?
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