Dig Deeper: Critical Thinking in the Digital Age
MindEdge’s Second Annual State of Critical Thinking Survey
Figuring out how to tell good online content from bad online content is a challenge for Internet users of any age. But for young professionals – digital natives who’ve essentially grown up online – it should be easier, right?
They certainly seem to think so, but the numbers tell a different story. According to MindEdge’s second annual State of Critical Thinking survey, young professionals express a high level of confidence in their critical thinking abilities and related skills – but their ability to detect false information online is actually declining.
MindEdge’s national survey of 1002 college students and recent graduates was conducted online by ResearchNow between March 29 and April 10, 2018. The top finding: 59 percent of respondents are very confident in their so-called soft skills, including critical thinking. But when confronted with a nine-question quiz designed to gauge their ability to detect fake news, a majority receive a failing grade.
Fully 52 percent of respondents got four or more of the questions wrong – enough to earn them a grade of "F." Only 19 percent earned an "A" or "B" by answering eight or nine questions correctly. Compared to our 2017 survey, the proportion earning an "A" or "B" has declined by five points (from 24 to 19 percent) – while the proportion earning an "F" has increased by eight points (from 44 to 52 percent). Scores for every one of the nine questions in the quiz are lower than in 2017.
MindEdge's Dig Deeper Course
To help foster the conversation around critical thinking, MindEdge is offering access to Dig Deeper: Critical Thinking in the Digital Age, a brief online course that includes sections on website reliability, the power of social media, native advertising, and how to spot fake news — along with videos, interactive games, and an online poll.