University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Research Help

Explore Diverse Viewpoints

There is no such thing as a truly unbiased source. When researching a topic or making up your mind on an issue, expose yourself to a variety of viewpoints and perspectives to see all sides of an issue.

WHAT YOU SEE AND WHAT YOU DON’T

Every internet search or social media click builds a profile of your information habits. This profile leads search engines and social media platforms to show you results similar to what you searched and clicked on. This can lead to a filtering of the information you see when you search or use social media, often called an information silo.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information which supports our pre-existing ideas, and to ignore or reject ideas and information which challenge those views.

When combined, algorithms which tailor content to your pre-existing preferences and confirmation bias can lead to unbalanced perspectives, discourages constructive debate, and can lead to extreme ideologies. Most importantly, if you are only getting your information from one side of an issue, you are missing half of the picture!

MEDIA BIAS

Many media sources have a particular perspective and aim to sway the reader towards their point of view. Carefully evaluating your media sources can teach you to recognize bias and decide if a source is appropriate to use or to share with others. Media bias is not the same as disinformation or fake news, which is false or misleading information made to look legitimate. Use the Ad Fontes Media Bias Chart to check which way your preferred news sources lean and consider choosing a source from the opposite side to provide a more balanced understanding of an issue.

RESOURCES FOR VIEWPOINT DIVERSITY

We provide access to resources and materials which represent a variety of perspectives on all topics, including controversial matters. You will find a range of viewpoints in our databasesbooks and journal collections. See our collection development policy.

Questions & Help

If you have questions on this, or another, topic, contact a librarian for help!