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PSYC 101: Introductory Psychology: Evaluating Sources

Why Do Our Brains Love Fake News?

The CAARP Test

The CAARP Test

The CAARP Test is a list of questions to help you evaluate the information you find. Different criteria will be more or less important depending on your situation or need.  Many of these questions can be applied to books, journal articles, news stories and/or web sites.

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current, or out-of date, for your topic or academic discipline?
  • Are all of the links functional?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

     examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government),
               .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness or plausibility of the information

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Is there a bibliography of consulted sources and/or notes?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? argument? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?

Adapted from CSU Chico

 

How to Spot Fake News

Fact Checking Sites