We Need to Be Both Credible and Likeable
|Above copied from CNN Philippines|
There was one research study performed in the United States that looked at how learning outcomes correlated with two characteristics of an instructor, credibility and affinity. About 600 students and 10 instructors from high schools in the Midwest participated in this study. The specific lesson was on HIV and pregnancy prevention among adolescents, a sensitive yet important issue in our society. The study found that the credibility of an instructor correlated with how much students had learned while affinity was correlated with how much engaged students were with the lesson. Surprisingly, a teacher's credibility was not correlated with how much students valued what they were learning, and a teacher's affinity had nothing to do with how much students actually learned. We, teachers, need to be both credible and likeable.
There is only one way to combat misinformation and it is not shutting down Facebook. Similar to teachers, sources in social media need to be both credible and likeable for these to be effective. Apparently, some of these sources are. Credibility and affinity are both in the eyes of the reader. Traditional sources of information like news organization are becoming less influential because these are now perceived as no longer credible. What goes out as news from these organizations is now seen as heavily influenced by those who have money or power. Affinity has also gone down because too much space and time have been given to opinion makers and not the journalists. These pundits are obviously not known to respect others' opinions and they are often perceived as totally out of touch with their viewer's or reader's feelings. These so-called experts are in reality plain intellectual bullies.
When those from whom we expect truth have become untrustworthy and out-of-touch, a window of opportunity for misinformation has been opened.