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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/8231

Authors: Crescimbene, M.*
La Longa, F.*
Lanza, T.*
Title: The science of rumors
Title of journal: Annals of geophysics
Series/Report no.: 3/55 (2012)
Publisher: INGV
Issue Date: Jul-2012
DOI: 10.4401/ag-5538
Keywords: Rumor, Communication, Social psychology, Urban legends
Abstract: This study takes a soft scientific cut to talks about rumors, hoaxes and urban legends. Social psychology, more elegantly, uses the latin word rumor (rumour in British English), which means sound, voice, or gossip. In social, economical, political, cultural and scientific communication, rumors indicate news that is presumed true, that circulates without being confirmed or made evident. The scientific history of rumors is briefly described starting from the period of ancient Rome, throughout the Second World War and the Internet era, up to today. We will try to answer some questions that can be useful to scientists today. What are rumors? How are they born? How do they spread? By which laws are they regulated? How do we need to fight them? A final question regards the collocation of rumors into modern science. Science today is divided into ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ science (the latter of which generally lacks a basic mathematical structure); these terms, respectively, indicate the natural sciences, which investigate Nature, and the social/human sciences, which investigate man in all his facets. Maybe rumors can be thought of as a bridge suspended between two banks: those of ‘scientific truth’ and ‘human truth’.
Appears in Collections:05.03.99. General or miscellaneous
Papers Published / Papers in press

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