What predicts adolescents’ critical thinking about real-life news? The roles of social media news consumption and news media literacy

Kelly Y L KU*, Qiuyi Kong, Celine SONG, Lipeng Deng, Yi KANG, Aihua Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Critical thinking in the post-truth era demands that news users develop and maintain a skeptical way of knowing, and cultivate the ability to discern evidence-based and unbiased information to make sound judgments. While adolescents are becoming the most dedicated social media news consumers, the literature is yet to catch up with empirical research on whether adolescents are able to apply critical thinking to make sense of real-life news. We investigated the relationships between social media news consumption, news media literacy, and critical thinking of 1505 adolescents between 12 and 18 years of age. Multivariate analyses suggested an internal news-seeking motivation, a cautious perception towards social media personalized news algorithms, and a reported habit of news-source tracking each independently predicted skills in thinking critically about a real-life news report. Hierarchical regression analysis further indicated the unique and combined variances of news consumption and news media literacy in predicting critical thinking in news. Insights for preparing our youth to become news-literate critical thinkers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100570
JournalThinking Skills and Creativity
Volume33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Critical thinking
  • News
  • Social media

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'What predicts adolescents’ critical thinking about real-life news? The roles of social media news consumption and news media literacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this