Credibility and Bias Reasoning Skills Practice

Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Review the lesson for Credibility and Bias Skills Help.

Credibility and Bias Reasoning Skills Practice

Practice Exercise: Bias

Read the following scenario. Write B next to anyone whom you think might be biased. If you think the person is likely to have an unbiased, reasonable opinion, write U in the blank.

Scenario: Congress is currently debating a tax reform proposal that makes filing taxes easier.

  1. The author of the proposal
  2. A professor of tax law
  3. A tax preparer
  4. The average taxpayer

Practice Exercise: Expertise

Rank each of these three sources in each area of expertise. Use 1 for the source with the most expertise and 3 for the source with the least.

  1. Knowledge of movies:
      ___Times review
  2. Knowledge of you and your taste in movies:
      ___Times review

Using the criteria to determine expertise, read the following choices and choose the source with the most expertise. Which one do you think has the least? Why?

  1. What cell phone you should get:
    1. the cell-phone company
    2. your children
    3. the ad on television
    4. Consumer Reports magazine
  2. What type of running shoes to buy:
    1. your father
    2. the shoe salesperson
    3. your coach
    4. Runner's World magazine
  3. What to wear to the awards dinner:
    1. your best friend
    2. your boy/girlfriend
    3. an article in Cosmo magazine
    4. the clerk at Forever 21 store

Practice Exercise: Eyewitness Credibility

Imagine you are a police officer who has just arrived at the scene of a fight between two young men on a street corner. Three people witnessed the incident, which occurred at 9:00 P.M. You arrive and begin interviewing witnesses at 9:20 P.M. The street corner is well lit.

  1. Who do you think is the most credible witness, and why?
  2. Witness A is an elderly woman who was sitting on the stoop about ten feet from the corner. She was wearing her glasses, but she admits that she needs a stronger prescription. Her hearing, however, is fine. She doesn't know either boy involved in the incident, though she's seen them around the neighborhood before.

    Witness B is a friend of one of the boys but does not know the other. He is an outstanding student at the local high school and a star basketball player. He was at the deli around the corner buying bread when he heard the boys shouting and came out to see what was going on. He had just had a fight with his girlfriend.

    Witness C is a stranger to the neighborhood. He was crossing the street toward the corner when the boys started fighting. He has 20/20 vision. He is 45 and has two teenage children. He was only a few feet away from the boys when the fight occurred.

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