Rumor As a Complex Phenomenon
Researchers in psychology have proposed several reasons for the emergence of rumors. Some occur as an inadvertent disruption of the normal routine, while others develop as a result of sudden environmental changes. In both cases, people are often uncertain of the outcome of events. They may also arise from the presence of a rogue individual or rear echelon troops. They may also be generated by a rumor when they become irritated with monotonous tasks.
There are various definitions of rumor. The term refers to the summary depiction of an event that is formulated by concerned individuals. It is the situation that serves as the unit of analysis, but the difficulty is in the process of interpretation. For this reason, it is essential to understand the origins of rumours. Throughout history, scientists have attempted to study rumours as a product of social processes and the role of the media.
Despite the complexity of the phenomenon, researchers have made significant progress in understanding rumour. The most recent studies in this area have demonstrated that rumors can be considered a form of social communication. As with other types of information, rumors are created by individuals who have no formal authority to speak on behalf of the community. The problem with these theories is that they assume that all reports are factual. However, this assumption is not true; the rumor phenomenon is a pathological process.
William Stern, a German social scientist, has made an attempt to study rumour using a “chain of subjects” experiment. They observed that the rumours became shorter the further they went down the chain. Another pioneer in this field, Gordon Allport, was another experimenter in this field. Allport and Postman defined rumour as an ambiguous and unreliable statement that is based on the emotions of the group.
A rumor can be a capsule statement that is formed by concerned individuals to make a point. It is a generalized description of a situation and a subjective interpretation of that information. It may be a rumour about an event, a rumour about a person’s sexual orientation, or a rumour about a new product. This research also points to the complexities of rumour.
Unlike other forms of media, rumours are often unreliable. The most common examples of rumors are about affairs and weapons of mass destruction. Likewise, some rumours are not true and are not related to facts at all. They are just the opinions of concerned persons. The problem with rumors is that they are based on subjective impressions and have no objective validity. The aforementioned factors can affect the credibility of rumours.
A rumour is more likely to be a negative or positive one. These types of rumours are most often created by anxious people. These individuals are more likely to spread negative rumors and gossip. The same is true for positive rumors. The best way to combat these rumours is to be aware of the source of the rumour. The source of the rumour is important and should be verified. It should also be credible.