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Identifying a Pseudoscientific Claim in the Media


Find an example of a pseudoscientific claim reported in the media. Example: “Lose 55 pounds inone week by taking this revolutionary new weight loss supplement!” You can use an infomercial, television ad, newspaper ad, magazine ad, Internet ad, website, etc. The more information included in the claim, the more material you will have to work with for the assignment; therefore, more detailed claims are better.


Be sure to include:

a) What the claim says;

b) What evidence is presented to support the claim (if any); and,

c) What conclusion most people (who aren’t taking Intro. Psych and don’t know about pseudoscience) would likely draw from this claim? In other words, if someone did not use critical thinking skills, what might they be apt to believe after reading this claim?

Using the “key warning signs” from the journal article, Science and Pseudoscience in Law Enforcement (posted on Blackboard under Resources), and your textbook (pay special attention to Some Warning Signs That Can Help Us Recognize Pseudoscience and Table 1.3 Logical Fallacies to Avoid When Evaluating Psychological Claims), outline the specific reasons why the evidence given does or does not convince you of the validity of the claim. Don’t forget to cite (and provide references for) any information/ideas/quotes you take from the claim, article, or your textbook! 

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