PSEUDOSCIENCE

Who is able to produce:

Professional – Amateur – Anyone.

It is very easy to spread pseudoscience, and it does not require any skills. But the creation of pseudoscience theory is way harder than one can expect.

Level of deception:

Low – Average – High – Very high.

Promoters of pseudoscience often adopt the vocabulary of science, describing conjectures as hypotheses, theories, or laws, providing “evidence” from observation and “expert” testimonies, or even developing what appear to be mathematical models of their ideas. Because of that, it might be hard to tell is information legit or not, especially without additional verification.

Pseudoscience consists of statements, beliefs, or practices that are claimed to be both scientific and factual but are incompatible with the scientific method.

Pseudoscience is often characterised by contradictory, exaggerated or unfalsifiable claims; reliance on confirmation bias rather than rigorous attempts to disproof; lack of openness to evaluation by other experts; absence of systematic practices when developing hypotheses; and continued adherence long after the pseudoscientific hypotheses have been experimentally discredited.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X8Xfl0JdTQ.

Working principle (what and how does it do):

Pseudoscience suggests something is being presented as science inaccurately or even deceptively.

When something is popular, yet wrong, it can often become an established “fact” merely through virtue of being repeated so many times. Sometimes this misinformation is due to popular science fiction/fantasy which either is based on old obsolete concepts or just plain poor present science.

Pseudoscientific claims very rarely have specific, testable scientific predictions, and instead rely on vague and ambiguous language, often encompassing grandiose claims.

In quack medicine a pseudoscience promoter might claim a given treatment “removes toxins from your system”, never saying what toxins, or how they will be removed, or how you can tell if they have been removed. The toxins are the real cause of disease, never saying how they cause disease, and that removing them will cure you of all known afflictions.

Example:

Checking method:

The easiest way to distinguish the pseudoscientific method from the scientific method is to look at whether there are testable predictions, and see whether the experiments set out to test the theory or simply to confirm it.

It might be helpful to distinguish science and pseudoscience: http://www.chem1.com/acad/sci/pseudosci.html.

Two videos on spotting pseudoscience:

Other disinformation types:

Satire

Satire: the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticise people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Clickbait

Clickbait is a form of false advertisement which uses hyperlink text or a thumbnail link that is designed to attract attention and entice users to follow that link and read,…

Contact us

Email: info@checkorcheat.eu
Phone: +370 525 97 247
This project is co-funded by the European Commission
under the preparatory action “Media Literacy for All 2018”.