Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Psychology of Rumor

NYT has a short article on the psychology of rumor (via mindhacks). Quote:

"Journalists typically presume that facts matter: show the public what is true, and they will make decisions correctly. Psychologists who study how we separate truth from fiction, however, have demonstrated that the process is not so simple. And because digital technology fosters social networks that are both closely knit and far-flung, rumors are now free to travel widely within certain groups before they meet any opposition from the truth. Consider, for starters, this paradox of social psychology, a problem for myth busters everywhere: repeating a claim, even if only to refute it, increases its apparent truthfulness."