Rumor Psychology

The Watercooler Effect

Rumor Psychology

Social and Organizational Approaches

by Nicholas DiFonzo and Prashant Bordia

What are People Saying about Rumor Psychology?


“Nicholas DiFonzo and Prashant Bordia’s Rumor Psychology fills an important gap in the scholarly study of belief and hearsay. The authors provide an up-to-date summary of the best research on the dynamics of rumor and hearsay, building on current theories in social and organizational psychology and providing new data as well. Both theorists and practitioners will be grateful to have a copy of this overview on their library shelves. Rumor Psychology is a significant and welcome milestone in the study of communication.”
–Gary Alan Fine, PhD, John Evans Professor of Sociology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL; coauthor, Whispers on the Color Line: Rumor and Race in America

“This is a highly readable, engaging, and comprehensive account of what we know currently about rumor. It should assume the role that Allport and Postman’s The Psychology of Rumor originated and is essential reading for social scientists and policymakers.”
–Jerry M. Suls, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Collegiate Fellow, University of Iowa, Iowa City

“Periodically, there is a sporadic renewal of enthusiasm in the psychology of rumor; then, after a flutter of research and redundant speculation, the topic—like a rumor itself—seems to vanish into thin air. This time, the situation may be different in part because of the impressive program of research of DiFonzo and Bordia and their empirically based conclusions. This fascinating book pulls together virtually everything that psychologists and others have learned and said about rumor, knowledgeably capped off by DiFonzo and Bordia’s well-reasoned research and astute insights that move rumor from the periphery of social psychology to its center stage.”
–Ralph L. Rosnow, PhD, Thaddeus Bolton Professor Emeritus, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

AwardsForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award

Rumor Psychology won the 2006 Gold Medal ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award in Psychology. “A panel of judges composed of librarians and booksellers named 216 winners, narrowed from nearly 1,400 entries, representing the finest work from today’s vibrant independent publishing community.” (from ForeWord Magazine).

Press and Articles about Rumor Psychology

Galowicz, S. (2006, October 16). The Truth about Rumors and Why we Believe Them. RIT University News Press Release.

Lovell, J. (2006, December 10). “Workplace rumors are true.” The New York Times Magazine.