Professor DiFonzo has given numerous presentations, invited addresses, seminars and lectures to business and academic audiences on rumor and rumor management. DiFonzo’s approach is to convey solid, evidence-based, and actionable knowledge via compelling and humorous stories and examples. Some selected presentations are listed below.

Rumor Accuracy: Ferreting Facts or Fashioning Fallacies?

Rumors have a bad reputation as being false, but is this reputation deserved? This insightful talk describes how some situations and circumstances lead to true rumors, while others to false ones. Covers accuracy base rates, the Matthew Accuracy Effect, attention deficits, memory limits, motivations in rumor spread, checking norms, collective intelligence, and the percolation model of rumor accuracy. Helpful to anyone seeking to be a better “rumor consumer,” or seeking to understand how groups get it right—or wrong.

How to Prevent & Manage Workplace Rumors

Workplace rumors are prevalent and are relied upon more heavily than formal sources of information. But they are often harmful. Harmful hearsay can wreak havoc on sales, reputation, morale, and trust. How can such rumors be effectively prevented and managed? Covers uncertainty reduction, reducing gossipy rumors, channeling anxiety, building trust, increasing credulity, rumor workshops, fostering a checking norm, early detection, the no-comment strategy, ingredients to effective refutations, and punishing rumor spreaders. Helpful to anyone seeking to prevent and manage harmful rumors: managers, leaders, coaches, teachers, public relations personnel, politicians, and parents.

Why do People Believe Rumors?

People often wonder “how on earth could anyone believe such a fantastic rumor?” This fascinating talk explores the factors underlying belief in rumors. Covers the psychology of belief, attitudes and predispositions, source credibility, hearing rumors repeatedly, rumor refutations, and motivated reasoning. A useful presentation for people who want to understand how some hearsay can seem plausible.

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