Nationally Recognized Expert on Rumors Opens RIT Speaker Series

Nicholas DiFonzo discusses impact and spread of rumors in social networks and communities

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The impact of rumors on everything from interpersonal relationships to business to politics will be the topic of a talk by Nicholas DiFinzo as the opening lecture of the 2009 Communication Colloquia series at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The presentation will be held at 10 a.m. Sept. 21 in RIT’s Xerox Auditorium and will focus on the development of rumors, how they spread through a group and the difference between true rumors, which often have positive effects, and false rumors and their negative impacts.

DiFonzo, professor of psychology at RIT, has earned significant notice as a researcher and commentator on the impact of rumors on society. He is the author of the textbook Rumor Psychology and the mass market book The Watercooler Effect, which is published by Penguin Press. He has also appeared frequently in the national press discussing the rumor phenomenon and has been featured on National Public Radio and by the Associated Press, The New York Times and U.S. News & World Report.

The colloquia series, sponsored by RIT’s Department of Communication, seeks to present prominent experts discussing key national issues in communication, public relations and journalism for the benefit of RIT students and the Greater Rochester community.