10. On Rumors by Cass Sunstein

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10. On Rumors by Cass Sunstein

Post  wmeisel on Sat May 29, 2010 11:48 pm

The subtitle is "How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done".

This is quite short - 88 pages, but very thick prose. There is a lot of interesting information about rumors here. In particular, you might think that if people get correct information about a rumor, everything is fixed, but you would be wrong. Research shows that people who have strong opinions often believe those opinions even more strongly when their beliefs are questioned. This may help explain why rumors are so hard to correct.

On the plus side, if people who you expect to be inclined to believe the rumor do NOT believe it, this is an effective deterrent of the rumor spreading. (The author uses the example of Colin Powell endorsing Obama as an example.)

The author is a lawyer (the co-author of the book Nudge), so this is a very logical, well -reasoned argument, though a bit depressing in describing how hard it is to correct false rumors.

Recommended.

(Can you tell that I am on summer vacation and now have time to read?)

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Re: 10. On Rumors by Cass Sunstein

Post  jrpstonecarver on Sun May 30, 2010 4:10 pm

I am actually jealous of your time to read!
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