Credible Source

Is The Source Credible?

You often see some well-known person recommending or approving something. This is seen in advertisements. The goal is to figure out if that person really knows anything about the subject. An actor dressed like a doctor recommending some medication can't be considered credible. What you would need is a peer-reviewed scientific paper.

Source Problems

  • Celebrities: It is helpful to make shrewd use of celebrities, like film stars or athletes. Having one introduce and praise you at a public appearance is good. This will start you off with a favorable impression. Having movie personalities endorse candidates is a good strategy.
  • Echo Chamber: The more sources there are for a claim or idea, the better it looks. An Echo Chamber is a loose network of outlets that tend to copy each other's material, all of which (on one topic) is traceable back to a single source. Bogus stories or information echoes through this system, seeming to come from multiple reliable sources.
  • Front Groups: These are organizations that purport to represent one agenda while in reality being funded by someone with different ideas. The name of the front group is often Americans for _______. Fill in the blank. The same goes for Citizens for ________, The Committee for _________, etc. These may sound good, but are they really credible sources? Who is funding them? Who is the real beneficiary of their agendas?
  • Testimonial: This technique has a well-known someone endorse, recommend or approve of a product, cause or program. Pop celebrities can work well here. Remember that testimonials aren't worth much, particularly if the endorser is not an authority in the field; check their qualifications.
  • Transfer: This is an effort to transfer your approval of something you respect and approve of to another something that the propagandist wants you to approve of. Flag-waving helps. Be sure you check out the implied connection.