July 25, 2014
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Rumor has it RIT’s on NPR News hits

Let’s face it—it can be pretty difficult for many of us mere mortals to get our heads around some of the remarkable research that’s taking place here on campus. One of the neat things about my job is the opportunity to grasp concepts outside of my comfort zone and then relay them to you in a way that makes sense and offers some relevance.

But every so often comes a research initiative that everyone can relate to from the get go. Take the work of Nicholas DiFonzo, associate professor of psychology in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts. He’s quickly becoming one of the nation’s leading experts on the spread of rumors. Gee, that doesn’t hit home at all now, does it?

DiFonzo is co-author of Rumor Psychology: Social and Organizational Approaches. Recently, my colleague Susan Gawlowicz sent out a new release publicizing his book. Much to our excitement, that announcement caught the attention of folks at National Public Radio, which led to an invitation to have DiFonzo interviewed on the network’s program Talk of the Nation: Science Friday. Talk about great exposure for RIT! I half jokingly tell my co-workers that I won’t be happy until DiFonzo’s research is a topic of conversation among the ladies on ABC’s The View.

I’m sure there are some who consider making a big deal about rumors as frivolous and a bit lowbrow, but I’m sure these are the same people who would never “stoop” to reading a blog. In my view, if we can continue to highlight RIT research programs that relate directly to our day-to-day lives, we might just succeed in making a name for this university yet.


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