WikiInfoLit Unit 3 - Authority and Wikipedia


Goals For This Unit

In Unit 3, you will gain a more nuanced understanding of cognitive authority, including its problematic aspects, and of how it relates to research, critical thinking, and information literacy. You will explore how issues of cognitive authority are dealt with in Wikipedia and by Wikieditors.

Introduction to Cognitive Authority

Watch this video of Metaviews researcher, Sherida Ryan: Metaviews: Cognitive Authority.

Questions For Reflection

You do not need to post your answers to questions for reflection. However, for your own benefit, I recommend that you write it out as if you were communicating your ideas to someone else. If you do want to post your answers, post them to the WikiInfoLit Google Group under Unit 3, General Discussion

  1. We are told to "Question authority!" Exactly what kinds of questions might you ask a supposed cognitive authority (expert) in order to judge whether he or she is really authoritative?
  2. If I were to tell you, "Cognitive authority is subjective and relative," would you agree or disagree? Why?
  3. Assume for a minute that all cognitive authority IS completely subjective and relative. What implications does that have for research?

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