Rumour Literature Review

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This literature review being done as a part of understanding rumour as behaviour in social life and in organisations will focus on how the subject of rumour has developed, how rumour is different from gossip, the various causes of rumours and its effects. The review will also shed light on how psychologists, historians and social scientists have treated rumour as behaviour in the past. The review is mainly limited to a few journals and research papers and those mainly published and available on the internet. One common theme that was found in many of the papers and journals was the difficulty in studying the behaviour of rumour. Social Scientist generally come to know about an existing rumour only when it has been too late, .e, it has faded…show more content…
Gossip is mainly an informal and evaluative talk in an organization, usually among no more than a few individuals, about another member of that organization who is not present, while rumour is considered to be much more complex phenomenon consisting essentially in the transmission of a report through a succession of individuals. A rumour can be considered to be a product of a series of witnesses, in which each of the individual bears testimony to a statement imparted to him by a predecessor in the series. As can be understood from the definition that since rumour is passed on in a series, the reliability of the rumour has to be greatly dependent upon the source. The source will determine the accuracy with which such a report was furnished and then how well it was transmitted in the chain. The source would be the person who has actually heard or seen the event and therefore when considering the validity and authenticity of the rumour, the character of the source has been considered to be of primordial importance by the historians as well as the social scientists. Morality of the character is an important factor but in addition to that the conditions under which the source saw or heard the event and the internal biases of the person including his views and prejudices, his profession, religion and other factors…show more content…
The level of uncertainty in a context has been considered to be a major factor in the spreading of rumours. Individuals seek to give cognitive meaning to a situation through rumour activity. Similar theories have suggested higher levels of personal anxiety affects rumour activity as does the importance of the rumour and its type. Also, rumours have been attributed not to the fact that the original story got distorted, but mainly because people combine their individual explanations to form an overall

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