“In these charged situations, people often don’t engage with information as information but as a marker of identity. Information becomes tribal.”

PRIMARY TEXT: • “This Article Won’t Change Your Mind” by Julie Beck https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/03/this-article-wont-change-your-mind/519093/ ________________________________________________________________________PROMPT: In “This Article Won’t Change Your Mind,” Julie Beck examines why people resist information that conflicts with their beliefs: “In these charged situations, people often don’t engage with information as information but as a marker of identity. Information becomes tribal.” • Analyze Beck’s findings by applying them to a real-world situation. Examine one or more situations where “information becomes tribal.” • Then Respond. Add to the ongoing conversation by stating your position on this issue. What do the responses that you observe show you about Beck’s conclusions? ________________________________________________________________________AUDIENCE: For this essay, you will decide which type of reader you want to address. In terms of audience, I only have two guidelines:

• You will address an educated adult audience. • Your audience will not have read Beck’s text and will likely not be familiar with the terms and concepts associated with her argument. This means that it is up to you to clearly, accurately, and respectfully present Beck’s ideas in your paper. This will involve providing clear definitions of the following terms and concepts: o tribalism o cognitive dissonance o motivated reasoning o selective exposure/selective learning o particularized trust When deciding on an intended audience, it is important to think about the person who needs to hear your position on this topic. Think about your purpose, and what you would like your readers to think, say, do, etc. after reading your work. RESEARCH: This assignment requires some research: • To respond to this prompt, you will need to “test out” Beck’s ideas in a real-world context. Do people react to information in the way she describes? If so, is it for the reasons she suggests? To do this, you will need to identify real-life examples of people responding to facts they are presented with and observe their reactions. • You also need to know about the topic under discussion. To judge the appropriateness of a response to information, you must know whether the information is valid, trustworthy, unbiased, etc. This requires research into the issue surrounding your real-life example. What are the “tribes” of thought surrounding this issue? What positions do they hold? What has been established as verifiable undisputed fact? CITATION: Source material will be smoothly integrated and accurately cited. The sources will be listed on a correctly-formatted works cited page (following proper MLA format). LENGTH: The required minimum length for this assignment is 5 full pages. My evaluation will be based on the depth of your argument, the effectiveness of your support, and the quality of your writing (as per the GWAR Essay Rubric). EVALUATION: The GWAR Essay Rubric focuses on three main criteria: • The quality of the analytical response to the assignment • The effectiveness of the organizational strategy • Style: grammar, diction, sentence structure, etc. An effective analytical response to this assignment will: • Convey a clear position in response to either the thesis of Beck’s article or a major idea within