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Posted: February 12th, 2024

Nursing Theory Week 3 Discussion: Evaluating Sources

Nursing Theory Week 3 Discussion: Evaluating Sources
Required Resources
Read/review the following resources for this activity:
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinions – but not their own facts.” (Daniel Patrick Moynihan,
cited in Vanity Fair, 2010, para. 2)
We form opinions – and make our judgments – based on facts we observe and values we hold.
Our judgments are also influenced by the opinions of others. In the section “An Expert on Hate in
America” in Chapter 6, one of the authors, Dr. Peter Facione, renders an opinion on a non-profit
civil rights organization: Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Dr. Facione is a leading advocate
and one of the most influential voices in the field of critical thinking.
His endorsement of the civil rights organization is unqualified. It is also transparent: Dr. Facione
reveals that he is a financial supporter of the organization and has arranged speaking
engagements for its founder. This is Dr. Facione’s invitation to you, the reader:
Knowing where you can learn more about the SPLC for yourself, and knowing about Dr. Facione’s
endorsement and support of the Center’s work, evaluate this claim made by Dr. Facione: “The
SPLC is an expert on hate in America” (p. 124).
The endorsement of the SPLC is contained in the most current edition of the text, whose copyright
date is 2016. Since that time Morris Dees, co-founder and former chief trial counsel, has been
fired (Hassan, Zraick & Blinder, 2019). Previously, there has been controversy about groups and
individuals that are listed by the SPLC as “hate groups” (Graham, 2016; Price, 2018). The
organization, which has nearly a half-billion dollars in assets, has also been criticized for how it
spends these funds (Robinson, 2019).
Self-Assessment Question
Textbook: Chapter 6, 7
Minimum of 1 scholarly source (in addition to the textbook)

Before you submit your initial post, make sure to read the assigned chapter. Then, ask yourself
the following: Did the article in Chapter 6 of the text seem credible and reliable? Why? Be very
Initial Post Instructions
For the initial post, address the following:
Only after you have done some responsible research should you begin to respond to the
discussion prompt. The discussion is not about the SPLC; it is not about Dr. Facione. It is about
what you have learned about forming opinions.
Your post must answer this question:
Your post must also discuss at least two (2) of the following questions:
Follow-Up Post Instructions
Respond to at least two peers or one peer and the instructor. Further the dialogue by providing
more information and clarification.
Writing Requirements
Was it because it is in a textbook?
Because it was written by a learned and respected person?
Because of content in the article?
Because of your previous knowledge of the SPLC?
Conduct additional research on the SPLC. Did your opinion alter in any way? Why?
How do you define the term “expert”?
How important are facts in the process of forming an opinion? Explain what you believe to
be the purpose or function of facts in making a judgment.
How did you respond to the self-assessment question? Since doing further research, have
you re-thought the way in which you assess credibility and reliability? What is the
importance of factoring the recency of a reference or opinion (i.e., how old is it?) into an
assessment of credibility and reliability?
How would you evaluate Dr. Facione’s claim “The SPLC is an expert on hate in America” (p.
124). Does the SPLC fit your definition of “expert”? Be specific in your answer.
Minimum of 3 posts (1 initial & 2 follow-up)
Minimum of 2 sources cited (assigned readings/online lessons and an outside source)

Search entries or author
This activity will be graded using the Discussion Grading Rubric. Please review the following link:
Course Outcomes (CO): 4, 5, 6
Due Date for Initial Post: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Wednesday
Due Date for Follow-Up Posts: By 11:59 p.m. MT on Sunday
Facione, P. A., & Gittens, C. A. (2016). Think critically (3rd ed.). Pearson.
Graham, D.A., (2016, October) How did Maajid Nawaz end up on a list of ‘antiMuslim extremists’?
Hassan, A., Zraick, K., & Blinder, A (2019, March 24) Morris Dees, a co-founder of
the Southern Poverty Law Center, is ousted. New York Times.
Price, G. (2018, June 18) Southern Poverty Law Center settles lawsuit after falsely
labeling ‘extremist’ organization. Newsweek.
Robinson, N. J. (2019, March) The Southern Poverty Law Center is everything
that’s wrong with liberalism. Current Affairs.
Evaluating Expertise: A Closer Look at the Southern Poverty Law Center
When forming opinions on complex issues, it is important to thoughtfully evaluate the credibility and reliability of sources. Factors like an organization’s transparency, consistency over time, and potential biases all merit consideration. In this article, I will take a closer look at claims of “expertise” regarding the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and debates around their designation of certain groups.
Defining Expertise
What constitutes an “expert” is nuanced, with credentials, experience, methodology, and lack of undisclosed biases all potentially relevant (Facione & Gittens, 2016). While the SPLC compiles valuable data on hate crimes, their designation processes have faced scrutiny (Graham, 2016; Price, 2018). Recent leadership and financial issues also raise questions about uncritical endorsements of the SPLC as an all-encompassing authority on these topics (Hassan et al., 2019; Robinson, 2019).
Evaluating the SPLC
The SPLC amasses significant assets but faces calls for greater transparency in spending (Robinson, 2019). Some argue their criteria risks conflating mainstream viewpoints with extremism (Graham, 2016; Price, 2018). These limitations suggest considering SPLC contributions alongside other sources, rather than as an unqualified expert (Facione & Gittens, 2016). Independent fact-checking is important given debates around consistency over time.
Reassessing Claims of Expertise
Gaining fuller context can prompt reevaluating initial views. While the SPLC provides important perspectives, considering their designation processes objectively and recent leadership/financial issues tempers claims of comprehensive expertise on these complex topics. Multiple credible sources merit review to form balanced opinions.
Vanity Fair. (2010, October 10). An American o

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