ACTIVITY: Opinion versus Fact

Purpose: This activity helps clients increase their awareness of opinions versus facts

Materials Needed: Two index cards for each member in the group; a stack of pictures (from magazines – ideally the pictures should have a scene with something going on that the client can describe)

Instructions/Steps:

  1. Provide each client with two index cards and ask clients to write the word OPINION on one card and FACT on the other.
  2. One client picks a picture from the stack and starts to describe it.
  3. After every sentence the client says, the others hold up either the opinion or fact card depending on whether what the client described was opinion (There’s a man who is angry) or fact (there is a man with a furrowed brow looking at another man with green pants).
  4. If there are agreements, ask the clients to explain why they thought it was an opinion versus a fact. If there are disagreements, help clear up the confusion.
  5. Have clients take turns describing the pictures. Encourage them to pay attention to what are some areas that are easy to make assumptions about, and therefore state opinions (examples of this are emotions, reasons why people do things, etc.).

Tips and Talking Points

  1. Clarify that opinions are not bad, they are helpful to have and inform us of our biases or our thought process.
  2. Explain that when we are aware of our opinions and assumptions, we can check them out with the other person as opposed to reacting based on an opinion or assumption that may not be true.
  3. Ask the group if they noticed preferences for facts or opinions. Did they notice that they had to use their mind a lot to only describe fact?
  4. An alternative to this activity is challenging the clients to describe the pictures only using facts. And the other clients hold up an opinion card when the client shares an opinion.

Starts the learning around: Communication, assumptions, opinions versus facts

2 thoughts on “ACTIVITY: Opinion versus Fact

  1. I used this activity in my DBT group at the Jail to facilitate conversation around practicing mindfulness non-judgmentally. The group had a good time participating in the activity and they struggled to not identifying opinion or fact as good or bad. We are working hard together to find the both/and in our DBT group!

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    • Hi Erin,

      That’s great! Thank you for sharing your successes and struggles. Makes this blog totally worth it!

      Anjali

      This email is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. Section 2510-2521 and is legally privileged. This message and any attachments hereto may contain confidential information intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient(s), or the employee or agent responsible for delivery of this message to the intended recipient(s), you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this email message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please immediately notify the sender and delete this email from your computer. The sender does not waive any privilege in the event this message was inadvertently disseminated.

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