BrainWise Masters: Fake News Experts

Posted On: June 2, 2021

BrainWise graduates are undaunted by Fake News – they use the 10 Wise Ways to help stem the flood of misinformation and practice good decision-making. This complements research on remedies found to halt the spread of false news: Scientists have identified thinking skills as an antidote for  people who unknowingly accept false, incomplete, or deceptive information as truth.


BrainWise Masters: Fake News Experts
David Rand, Phd. MIT

Social psychologists Gordon Pennycook and David Rand report that  “lazy thinking,” may increase  people’s susceptibility to fake news. They found that a large majority of people want to share only accurate content, but inattention, haste, and misinterpretation trips them up.


Seeking ways to improve people’s thinking, they found that something as simple as nudging people to think about the accuracy of information shared in a post can result in people using more trustworthy media outlets.


In BrainWise terms, “lazy thinking” is a Lizard Brain reaction. Giving people accurate information and reminding

BrainWise Masters: Fake News Experts
Gordon Pennycook, PhD University of Regina, Canada

them to stop and think will “nudge” the concept of accuracy in their minds.  Pennycook says “it’s basically critical thinking, but in a very light form.”

Graduates who master BrainWise gain and retain the wide range of critical thinking skills.  They are able to separate fact from opinion because they  recognize Wizard Brain thinking over Lizard Brain reacting, heed red flag warnings, manage their emotions, ask questions, identify choices, consider the consequences of their choice now, later and affecting others, set goals and communicate effectively.
They understand that with use, their brain creates a network of critical thinking/executive function skills that replace Lizard Brain reactions.
BrainWise Masters: Fake News Experts
Fear Triggers Brain Synapses
And while “nudging” may sometimes help people, the individuals who master the Wise Ways  learn a “heavy form” of critical thinking. The skills help them understand how 83 percent of respondents to a poll conducted by National Public Radio are concerned about the spread of false information but less than half can identify as false a QAnon conspiracy about pedophilic Satan worshippers trying to control politics and the media.
The Wise Ways also help them recognize that sophisticated methods make false information believable,  that videos are edited to slant information, and that emotions —  revenge, anger, hate, greed — underlie the trickery and attacks that harm others.
They know that the Lizard Brain will always be ready to react and that thinking skills in the Wizard Brain must be learned. They also know that anyone can learn the 10 Wise Ways, as the following examples show:
  • A kindergartner explained that the fox in the story of the Gingerbread Boy used his Wizard Brain to trick the boy to ride on his back across the river and used his Lizard Brain to eat him.
  • Adolescents with Special Needs (Issues 48 and 56)
  • Before BrainWise and After BrainWise pictures drawn by a student in China


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The growth of misinformation is going to continue. BrainWise-educated children, teens, and adults have skills to prevent and manage the problems they face. They use the 10 Wise Ways and teach them to others. They are in control of how they respond. Lizard Brain users are not.

BrainWise Hand Brain

The BrainWise Hand Brain is a silent, hidden, signal used to remind – or nudge – us  to “Stop and Think.”  The following link to the BrainWise hand brain explanation will help you share this teaching tool with  others.


Stop and Think

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