What Is Rumor?


Rumor is a type of message that spreads in social networks. This information may be about a true event or it might be false. It could be about a specific person or it might be about an entire group of people. Some rumors are harmless, but others can cause panic and even chaos. It is also important to understand how rumors spread in order to combat them.

The concept of rumor has a long tradition in social science. The modern scholarly definition of a rumor is based on the pioneering work by William Stern in 1902. He devised an experiment where he had subjects pass a story from one person to another without letting anyone else hear it. He found that the story was shortened and changed by the time it reached the end of the chain. Stern’s student, Gordon Allport, extended the study to include a variety of social contexts and found that the same principles of rumoring applied in all settings.

In his book, “Rumor,” Allport outlined the four analytic dimensions of rumor. The dimensions are uncertainty and significance, novelty and emotional valence, familiarity and repetition, and system effects such as position in a social network. These dimensions are also reflected in the current popular vocabulary used to describe a rumor: misinformation and disinformation. However, these terms may be misleading because the dynamics of a rumor are more complex than simply wrong or deliberately misleading.

Uncertainty and significance are rooted in the basic law of rumoring, first described by Gordon Allport in 1946: the strength of a rumor is proportional to its importance to the listener multiplied by its ambiguity. Novelty and emotional valence stem from research that shows that people are more likely to believe a rumor if it is new or if it has an emotional appeal. Familiarity and repetition are related to the research that shows that repetition increases a rumor’s believability.

It is also important to consider the role that personality plays in a rumor’s spreading. People who are more radical in their beliefs tend to be more inclined to spread a rumor. Also, people are more likely to focus on a rumor that is relevant to their own lives.

The best way to stop a rumor is to convince people not to believe it. To do this, you must convince them not to be afraid of it. This is because fear prevents people from thinking critically about a rumor. Another technique is to limit the amount of information you put out about the rumor. You also need to make it clear that you are not telling the whole truth. For example, you should not say that a person paid $8,000 to look like Angelina Jolie because it will cause people to doubt whether the rumor is true or not. It is also helpful to keep the number of people involved in the rumor to a minimum. This way, you can avoid a lot of confusion and confusion in the rumor.