Blog: Ask Professor Nick

Gossip: The Bad, the Good, & the Ugly

A recent blog from Psychology Today on this perennially favorite topic.
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Too Bad to be False

Writing in The Nation, columnist Reed Richardson uses insights from The Watercooler Effect to criticize the press for spreading anti-Obama-administration rumors (link).
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Twitter Rumors

Fascinating WSJ article, and video about the use of twitter, but especially a) how twitter activity filtered out truth versus rumor after a Chilean earthquake, and b) the use of tweet dissemination patterns to uncover misinformation campaigns.  
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Portrait of a 20th-century Washington Gossip

Gossip Part 1: Alice Roosevelt Longworth. Portrait of a political gossip-monger.  
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Gossip is Good, Even in the Lab

The primary functions of gossip are to inform, influence, entertain, enhance friendship, reinforce moral standards, and help in making decisions. Gossip helps us to understand our own abilities, shortcomings, and problems, and sets parameters for our behavior… continued…

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Caltech Earthquake Rumor Shakes Twittersphere

For several days, a rumor has been spreading wildly over the internet, compliments of Twitter and Facebook. It started with a tweet that claimed Caltech was sending employees and students home because seismologists were predicting a major earthquake was about to hit the Southland… continued…

Add comment | Celeb Death Rumors Catch Fire Online

“Just hearing about celebrities dying makes it seem more probable,” says Nicholas DiFonzo, author of “The Watercooler Effect” and a psychology professor at Rochester Institute of Technology. “So [the rumors] tend to occur in an… continued…

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Expert on Rumors Offers his Advice | North Dakota Business Watch

Nicholas DiFonzo, psychology professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, has studied rumors, hearsay and gossip since 1992. DiFonzo is currently leading a project funded by the National Science Foundation to study how rumors spread…? continued…

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Mind Matters: Gossip in the Lab | Proceed with Caution

“Gossip has a bad reputation, which, for the most part, is well-deserved,” says Nicholas DiFonzo, a psychologist at the Rochester Institute of Technology in… continued…

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In the Books | Off to the Printers V « 800 CEO Read Daily Blog

In The Watercooler Effect, Nicholas DiFonzo explains how stories, in the form of gossip and rumors, can take flight even in the midst of contradicting data. DiFonzo, like all authors in the field of human behavior, offers solutions to… continued…

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