Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/7653
Authors: Crescimbene, Massimo* 
La Longa, Federica* 
Lanza, Tiziana* 
Title: The Science of rumors
Issue Date: 22-Sep-2011
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/7653
Keywords: Rumors, Hoax, Social Psycholyo
Subject Classification05. General::05.03. Educational, History of Science, Public Issues::05.03.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: This work, with a soft scientific cut, talks about rumors, hoaxes and urban legends. Social psychology, more elegantly, uses the latin word rumor (rumour in British English) which means sound, voice, gossip. Rumors, in social, economical, political, cultural and scientific communication, indicate a news, presumably true, that circulates without being confirmed or made evident. The scientific history of rumors is briefly described starting from Ancient Rome period, 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 to fight them? A final question regards the collocation of rumors into modern science. Science today is divided into hard and soft science (that lacks generally a basic mathematical structure), these terms, respectively, indicate natural sciences, which investigate nature, and social/human sciences, that investigate man in all his facets. Maybe rumors can be imagined as a bridge suspended between two banks: “scientific truth” and “human truth”.
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