The internet is perhaps one of the greatest inventions of all time for the simple fact that it’s given most of the people in the world access to instant information. The problem with this, however, is that the vast sum of information available can be incredibly difficult to absorb and quantify, purely because of the sheer amounts of resources available online.
Another problem that exists is misinformation; malicious “studies” released that are not based on real science, but rather on political agendas or monetary gain. For anyone that might be suffering with a mental health problem, being able to do the right research and find what works might be the difference between life and death.
The first place that most people turn when they want to learn something new is a search engine, and the most popular by far is Google. Google offers instant access to most of the latest medical and psychological research, but the results are not always perfect. Sometimes an article based on pseudoscience pops up from time to time.
Google does also change its results based on previous activity, which might become difficult for anyone that’s looking for unbiased information. Fortunately, Google is just one of many search engines, and it’s possible to do research on engines like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo, each of which offers a wide variety of services and games that players can register now with, and then comparing results..
Search engines only serve to provide the websites, and the websites are where the real information can be found. But websites can be based anywhere in the world, meaning that anyone with their own agenda can post whatever they want.
A good practise to have is to do research on a website in question. Make sure that if only provides respected and well-documented studies. This will ensure that whenever a new study is posted, or more research is needed, it’s best to just turn to a trusted website.
Whenever a large study is conducted in a field of science, it may be reviewed by other scientists working in that same field. This is important, as it’s fairly common for a small minority of scientists to publish biased findings, which can be harmful to the general public.
If peers step up and check the studies provided, including the evidence and conclusions, they can verify whether the study is based on real science and experimentation. If it is, then it’s marked as peer-reviewed, meaning that it’s a study that can be trusted.
For extra steps, the reader can check out which scientists have performed the reviews, and check what kind of credentials they have. This usually isn’t necessary, but it can be a useful tool in the fight against misinformation.
More Than One Study
We live in a world that consists of hundreds of thousands of scientists and experts from around the world, and there will often be many studies done on a subject of interest, which is fairly prevalent in the world of mental health.
A researcher should always check through multiple sources of verified information in order to make sure that the information they are absorbing is correct and matches other reputable sources.