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Thursday, July 19 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Checklists Are Not Enough: Exploring Emotional Intelligence as Information Literacy

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Information literacy education has long included developing skills in evaluating information. Librarians have designed checklists, dichotomized scholarly and popular sources, and created lessons centered around fact checking in an effort to encourage responsible information habits. While these skills are important, traditional methods of information evaluation do not account for the impact that emotions and internal biases have on human judgement processes.

Research shows that humans are more likely to dismiss information that does not confirm previous thinking in favor of information that does regardless of source reliability. It follows that even if students are given a tool to determine reliability such as a checklist, they may not accept the outcomes if it doesn’t align with pre-existing beliefs. Highlighting the importance of checking emotional reactions to information has perhaps never been more relevant than now, when much of our information comes to us via proprietary algorithms that encourage confirmation bias. The platforms we frequent create echo chambers overrun with misleading and inflammatory information. We must teach students that checking in with our emotions and internal biases is an integral part of evaluating information in their academic lives and beyond.

Drawing from Social Psychology and Communications literature, I will explore the significant impact emotional reactions have on whether we internalize information as true or dismiss it. I will then discuss implications of this for information literacy education and offer practical methods for addressing these concerns.

avatar for Chelsea Heinbach

Chelsea Heinbach

Teaching and Learning Librarian, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Chelsea Heinbach is an Assistant Professor and Teaching and Learning Librarian at the Lied Library at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is interested in in critical pedagogy, the affective nature of information behavior, and the intersection between civic engagement and information... Read More →

Thursday July 19, 2018 1:30pm - 2:30pm MDT
University Center Ballroom West