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Mythbusters: A Student Activity that Debunks Fallacious Information
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confirmation bias
motivated reasoning

How to Cite

Hendrix, Kimber, and Becka Alper. 2014. “Mythbusters: A Student Activity That Debunks Fallacious Information”. TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology, January. Washington DC: American Sociological Association.


Undergraduate students often enter sociology courses with preconceived notions, or myths, regarding various social phenomena. As such, sociology instructors struggle to overcome confirmation bias and motivated reasoning when teaching since many students disregard research findings when their worldview is challenged. To overcome this hurdle, this paper...

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Subject Area(s):
Introduction to Sociology/Social Problems
Resource Type(s):
Class Level(s):
Any Level
Class Size(s):

Usage Notes

Utilizing both written and oral skills, students work in groups to critically assess a commonly held myth or stereotype regarding a marginalized population. Students are asked to explore the social context behind their myth, decide whether it’s true or not, and then back it up with research. Groups prepare both an oral presentation and a group paper...

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Learning Goals and Assessments

Learning Goal(s):

  1. Objective #1: To critically evaluate commonly held ideas regarding various social misconceptions through research.
  2. Objective #2: Increase understanding and acceptance towards marginal populations as a result of their efforts to debunk their myth.

Goal Assessment(s):

  1. Assessment #1: Students will be assigned a commonly held myth, and within the context of a group project (both written and oral) evaluate it.
  2. Assessment #2: The assigned myths revolve around commonly held stereotypes regarding marginalized populations, and throughout the course of the assignment, students will challenge those stereotypes.

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