Rumors are often based on unverified information that can be dangerous or damaging to someone’s reputation, livelihood, or personal life. The spread of a rumor can be difficult to control, but learning to identify and deal with them is an important part of healthy social relationships.
Rumor Psychology: Social and Organizational Approaches (2007) explores a broad range of rumor-related topics, including the role of rumors in media dissemination, social cognition, and the diffusion of propaganda. Authors Nicholas DiFonzo and Prashant Bordia examine how rumors begin, spread, and shape public opinion. They also investigate rumor’s accuracy and how it can be controlled.
In a rumor, unconfirmed information is disseminated in an attempt to create or manage ambiguity, threat, or risk. This ambiguity may arise because the topic is not entirely understood, or because it is a matter of public interest. The ambiguity may also be due to a lack of accurate information about the topic at hand (Difonzo & Bordia, 2007, 357).
It is possible for rumors to be both positive and negative in their intent. Researchers have identified three distinct types of rumors: pipe dream rumors, bogies or fear rumors, and wedge-driving rumors.
Pipe dream rumors are rumored to reflect public desires and wished-for outcomes. For example, rumors about Japan’s oil reserves during World War II were thought to signal that Japan would soon win the war. Bogie or fear rumors are rumored to reflect feared or potentially harmful outcomes, such as an enemy surprise attack.
They can also be rumored in an effort to undermine group loyalty or interpersonal relations. For example, American Catholics were rumored to be seeking to avoid the draft, and German-Americans, Italian-Americans, and Japanese-Americans were rumored to be anti-American.
People who live in bitterness and malice are more likely to spread rumors. They feel as if they have been mistreated by others and want to make themselves look good. They also believe that they can get more attention by gossiping about other people, even if they do not divulge the information in a way that will cause harm to other individuals.
The Internet can be a great source for rumors. It has become a popular way to share information with large groups of people.
In this case, the rumor about McDonald’s spread through social media and it is likely that a lot of people believe it. It is hard to know whether it is true or false, but it is worth considering because it has a strong influence on the minds of people.
It can be easy to fall into a rumor trap, especially when you are not paying close attention to what is going on in your life. It is important to keep up with your friends, family, and coworkers. If they notice that you are drifting away, it can be easy for them to start a rumor about your emotional state or how difficult you are to spend time with.
The rumors that are spread about you can affect your personal and professional life, so it is important to address them right away. If the rumor is spreading too rapidly, or you are concerned about your safety, it is best to speak to someone about it.