When we hear new information, we often experience an immediate emotional reaction. Then, based on that emotional reaction, we determine whether we believe the information or not. That is, our opinion about a matter tends not to be based on a thorough analysis of the relevant facts but solely on how the information makes us feel.
When our opinions are grounded not in fact but in emotion, it is very easy for us to make mistakes, jump to conclusions, and act in impulsive ways we are likely to regret later.
The next time you are presented with new information, take a moment to tune into your immediate feelings about that information. What emotions did that information elicit in you? Then, notice the temptation to accept the truth of the information and act on the information in ways determined by your emotions. Finally, take the time to dig a little more deeply into the information itself. Take the time to evaluate the information rationally and thoroughly.
In this way, we can avoid being sucked into believing false information simply as a result of manipulative presentation, persuasive marketing, or cognitive biases. We can be more confident that our opinions and beliefs are grounded in logic, rationality, and fact.