Young people trust Google too much

Study says students aren’t as web savvy as they think

In a new study, 102 students from the University of Illinois in Chicago sat at computers and performed information-retrieving tasks, while videos recorded their activity on screen. Researchers found that what matters to students when tracking down info isn’t the quality of the site, but where it ranks on a brand-name search engines page, like Google or Yahoo or AOL. “Just because younger people grew up with the Web doesn’t mean they’re universally savvy with it,” said Eszter Hargittai, one of the study’s researchers from Northwestern University. “Educators should show specific websites in class and talk about why a source is or isn’t credible.”

Science Daily




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Young people trust Google too much

  1. It would be quite interesting to see how journalists did in the same study. I'm guessing not much better.

    • High ranking anonymous Google sources confirmed today that Michael Ignatieff is a jerk

      – QMI News Agency

      • Google's in cahoots with the Liberal media, everybody knows that. QMI uses Bing :)

  2. It doesn't matter what the website says, what matters is that it says what you want it to say. Why do you think I don't get my news from CBC?

    This is the era where truth is meaningless, slant is everything.

  3. As Michael has already alluded, most people will go to a source that they feel will confirm their world view, as opposed to challenge it. How big would the 9/11 "Truth" movement be if not for the Internet?

  4. I haven't taught very many classes, but I usually only encounter a couple of students that do this. One solution is to require peer-reviewed sources. And the web isn't always a horrible place for information – google scholar, for instance, is a fantastically valuable resource. Even wikipedia isn't that bad as a starting point if you know nothing about a subject and want general information.

    • FYI: students shouldn't be citing wikipedia, or writing papers based on it (and some definitely do that), but it can answer some basic questions.

  5. Interesting that this study was conducted at an American University, perhaps they need to re-evaluate the sources they direct their students towards? Based on my first hand experience at the University of Toronto, it was drilled into our heads that peer-reviewed or credible, recognized publications were the ONLY sources you should have been using for academic assignments.

  6. Know what else isn't a credible source? Macleans.ca

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