4 Tips to make you a better interpreter of what you are learning:
1. Have a critical thinking hat on. This means don't take what's written as gospel. Many blogs and 'industry experts' will headline or weight articles and seminars in favour of the case/product they are trying to sell or impose upon. Do your own research. This ties in and brings me to tip 2...
2. Do your own research! Understanding how data is collected and presented is often the key to justifying whether information is biased, valid or from a belief system. A meta analysis of the battery of evidence currently around is a great way to start for someone looking to see what the consensus is. From there you can see which way the evidence leans towards or if that area needs more research before justification can be classified. Don't be lazy, the information is out there, remember correlations don't necessarily mean causations.
3. READ THE REFERENCES. I put this in capitals because to often they're at the bottom of blogs but don't get read. This is the easiest way to understand where a blog is coming from and a way to see what the author may be trying to get out of them. Often a sentence in a journal or peer reviewed paper is enough to make a blog headline. The problem here is generally it doesn't tell the whole story but rather a small part to what the author wants to highlight. This is why so many people are confused on what is correct or simply get 'guru dazzled!' The majority of the time the references get brushed under the carpet as we take the blog for actual just because it must be true having been referenced and from an 'expert!'
4. Understand how to flatten data. A lot of the time the numbers that are compared during sampling are not of equal values. This makes it incredibly confusing for people to understand and so marketing products do very well in capitalising from it. Statistics become a powerful tool in swaying the consumers decisions of when to purchase products. You hear claims such as X amount of the population require Y amount of something or other and so the solution often is a product that gets heavily sold upon. If we don't understand how these figures were formulated then we're simply unaware of how the evidence was produced. For example 10 people sampled hand picked from London are not a complete representation of London's population when sampled as a whole. The tip here would be to do some basic statistical maths learning in order to benefit in life when making decisions based off small picture evidence. Some people say what was the point in some of the maths problems taught at school? Well this is why they are taught; to give you the opportunity to interpret and further enhance your learning ability when becoming more specific with what it is your trying to learn!
Reference List -THOUGHTS MY OWN the journal of andypilides (2016)
Hope this helps;)