The Process and Reasoning: A Psychology of Rumor By Robert H. Knapp.

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The Understanding of a Rumor
Synopsis. One of the more interesting readings in Behrens and Rosen’s Wrting and Reading Across the Curriculum was “A Psychology of Rumor” By Robert H. Knapp. His major point was the understanding of the process and the reasoning behind rumors. A rumor can be classified as a special case of informal social communications that include myth, legend, and current humor. Rumors have three basic characteristics to them. The first is mode transmission which is usually done through word of mouth. The second characteristic is that they provide information, ranging from a particular person, an event, or condition. Lastly, the third characteristic is that a rumor satisfies mythology, folklore, and humor. Rumors have the
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Knapp and “Managing Rumors” by John Doorley and Helio Fred Garcia both discussed the makeup of rumors they doth went into different aspects of rumors.
Even though both did have their own approach for rumors they did have some similarities between the two readings. They both contribute to the fact that rumor go through a sort of simplification. In “A psychology of Rumor” it was stated that "As perception and memory simplify the things we see, so do they simplify the rumors we hear and read. In time, a successful rumor becomes a “good story.” This process of heightening some elements, or leveling or leveling others” (Knapp 361) In “Managing Rumors”, John Doorley and Helio Fred Garcia stated,
“George W. Allport and Leo Postman, constructed experiments on how the content of rumors changes as the rumor passes from person to person. They concluded that as a rumor travels, it tends to grow shorter, more concise and more easily told: In subsequent versions [of rumor] more and more original details are leveled out, fewer words are used and fewer items are mentioned… As the leveling of detail proceeds, the remaining details are necessarily sharpened.” (Doorley and Gracia 398) The dissimilarities between the two were more prevalent towards the end of the articles. Both discussed what makes up rumors but “A Psychology of Rumor” discussed more about principles of rumors and talked about them as they are not in control after they have been

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