On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done

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Macmillan, Sep 29, 2009 - Psychology - 112 pages
5 Reviews
Many of us are being misled. Claiming to know the “pals” of presidential aspirants, dark secrets about public officials, and hidden causes of the current economic crisis, those who spread rumors know precisely what they are doing. They are sometimes able to derail political candidates, injure companies and reputations, even damage democratic governance. And in the era of the Internet, they know more about manipulating the mechanics of false rumors—social cascades, group polarization, and biased assimilation—than you do. They also know that the presumed correctives—publishing balanced information, issuing corrections, and trusting to the marketplace of ideas—do not always work. A pioneer in the effort “to design regulation around the ways people behave” (The Wall Street Journal), Cass R. Sunstein uses examples from the real world and from behavioral studies to explain why certain rumors spread like wildfire and what we can do to avoid being misled.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - benjamin7857 - LibraryThing

Is there an unfounded rumour circulating around the office at your expense? If you answered in the affirmative you might take some comfort in the thought that the original propagators acted in good ... Read full review

Review: On Rumors: How Falsehoods Spread, Why We Believe Them, What Can Be Done

User Review  - Nick Huntington-Klein - Goodreads

I loved Nudge, but this book is far from insightful. I will save you some time: read the title and subtitle, and spend half an hour thinking to yourself about the topic. You've now probably hit all ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Cass R. Sunstein is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School (on leave). His previous books include Republic.com and Infotopia; he coauthored Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness.

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