In the fast paced world of accessibility and over-information, it can be challenging to decipher the code that unlocks the essence of the truest truth. It becomes increasingly overwhelming as more and more experts begin to use the internet as the microphone to project their voices onto the world stage.
The climate of information is decorated with a congestion of opinions on all topics, most recently, health and science is less clear and muddied with varying and contradictory opinions. So, how do you know who to trust when the potential cycle of confirmation bias dances around us on the daily? These days, it seems like, regardless of your starting position on a topic, you can find an expert to support your view.
Here are some quick tips on how to trust your source:
Ask Questions - Fact Check the Answers
It is important to not blindly trust a headline, to read thoroughly and deep dive into the topics that are important to you. Beyond that, fact check the sources of your experts and reports, reach into a topic and investigate where the authors' opinions originate from.
Be your own Human
‘Social proof’ is a curious phenomenon, one which conveys that the most popular opinion must be the most factual. This is not always the case and developing research on a topic means obtaining well-rounded sources and perspectives. Think about what happens when you Google a topic - the top hits are fed to us based on popularity, therefore, regardless of content and accuracy, a source is bumped to the top even if it's only benefit is a totally click-worthy title. So read up on what your expert has to say and let it settle into your body and mind - does it make sense and how does it make you feel?
Follow the Money - The Problem with Incentivization
It is more common than not that an expert is involved in other areas of their industry, this could mean sitting on a pharmaceutical board, being involved in new drug research, holding shares in pharmaceutical development companies. These associations create an incentivized bias and should be considered when observing the opinions of our professionals. In some cases, you are likely to obtain a more honest opinion from someone who gains nothing but your own well being when making a medical recommendation.
Find an Accredited Expert in the Right Field
There are so many experts in the medical profession, they specialize because there is just too much to know when it comes to all the body systems. So if you are looking to understand a topic in a particular field, make sure you find an expert in that field. For example, interested in pregnancy - talk to an Obstetrician. Interested in learning more about your heart and the circulatory system, read up on the views of a Cardiologist.
Building upon the importance of looking into the field of correct expertise, you could gain some further trust-traction by then finding an expert on the specific condition in which you are interested in. Does the expert align with the appropriate health condition? Does this expert work with and speak to your demographic or are they providing general health advice?
With the above criteria in mind, you can really zero in on trustworthy advice. Good luck to you all in your quest for knowledge and truth!