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Mar 21, 2017

Headlines are everywhere—newspapers, magazine stands, Facebook posts, even Twitter. They are meant to grab our attention. But sometimes those headlines can be misleading, lack context or be an opinion disguised as a headline.

A study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied  found that headlines can affect how readers process the facts in a news articles and opinion pieces. They can also cause a reader to form an opinion before he or she even reads the article, especially if a headline emphasizes secondary content rather than the story’s central premise. 

With so many headlines vying for our attention, it’s important to think critically what we read and forward on our social media sites. Ask yourself: What’s behind the headline? Whose opinion is it promoting? And where can I get more facts to clarify this story?