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A Fact is any of the following:

  • Something actual as opposed to invented.
  • Something concrete used as a basis for further interpretation.
  • Information about a particular subject.
  • Something known to be the case.
  • Something in the world that makes a true statement true.

Psychological aspects of factual claims

We tend to see facts which support our position and ignore facts which contradict our opinion. However, events that do not fit our framework also tend to stand out and draw our attention.

Statements of fact

A statement of fact or a factual claim is a statement that is presented as an accurate representation of a situation, event, or condition, and that is capable of being either proved or disproved.

If a factual claim is incorrect, then it is called a mistake or an error (if the person making the statement believed it to be correct) or a lie (if the person making the statement did not believe it). A factual claim shown to be correct is a fact. A factual claim that was believed to be true may later shown to be false (disproved), and a factual claim believed to have been disproved may later shown to be true.

A belief that cannot be proved or disproved is an opinion.

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