Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Greenwashing: Cognitive Ease and Evaluating Sources

Cognitive Ease

“When you are in a state of cognitive ease, you are probably in a good mood, like what you see, believe what you hear, trust your intuitions, and feel that the current situation is comfortably familiar. . . . When you feel strained, you are more likely to be vigilant and suspicious, invest more effort in what you are doing, feel less comfortable, and make fewer errors, but you are also less intuitive and less creative than usual. . . . Anything that makes it easier for the associative machinery to run smoothly will also bias beliefs. A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguishable from truth.

Evaluating Resources Using the CRAAP Method

Criteria

Questions to Ask


urrency

  • When was the source written and published?
  • Has the information been updated recently?
  • Is currency pertinent to your research?


elevance

  • Does the source cover your research topic comprehensively or only cover one aspect?
  • To what extent does the source answer your research question?
  • Is the source considered popular or scholarly?
  • Is the terminology and language used easy to understand?
  • Does the source meet the requirements of your research assignment?


uthority

  • Who is the author (person, company, or organization)?
  • Does the source provide any information that leads you to believe the author is credible or an expert on the topic?
  • Can you describe the author's background (experience, education, knowledge)?
  • Does the author provide citations? Do you think they are reputable?


ccuracy

  • Can facts or statistics be verified through another source?
  • Based on your knowledge, does the information seem accurate? Does it match the information found in other sources?
  • Are there spelling or grammatical errors?


urpose

  • What is the purpose or motive for the source (educational, commercial, entertainment, promotional, etc.)?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the author pretending to be objective, but really trying to persuade, promote or sell something?
  • Does the source seem biased?

Importance of Accurate Citations