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Some of the best work on these topics is being done by Alessandro Bessi. Some of his papers include:

Viral Misinformation
The Spreading of Misinformation Online
Trend of Narratives in the Age of Misinformation

Alessandro Bessi - Google Scholar Citations





From: Brian Keegan <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, May 4, 2016 3:22 PM
Subject: Re: [SOCNET] Inquiry about gossip and social networks

***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****
There's a really excellent 2012 review article in Psychological Science in the Public Interest around strategies for debiasing (correcting) misinformation in populations: 


"The widespread prevalence and persistence of misinformation in contemporary societies, such as the false belief that there is a link between childhood vaccinations and autism, is a matter of public concern. For example, the myths surrounding vaccinations, which prompted some parents to withhold immunization from their children, have led to a marked increase in vaccine-preventable disease, as well as unnecessary public expenditure on research and public-information campaigns aimed at rectifying the situation.

We first examine the mechanisms by which such misinformation is disseminated in society, both inadvertently and purposely. Misinformation can originate from rumors but also from works of fiction, governments and politicians, and vested interests. Moreover, changes in the media landscape, including the arrival of the Internet, have fundamentally influenced the ways in which information is communicated and misinformation is spread.

We next move to misinformation at the level of the individual, and review the cognitive factors that often render misinformation resistant to correction. We consider how people assess the truth of statements and what makes people believe certain things but not others. We look at people’s memory for misinformation and answer the questions of why retractions of misinformation are so ineffective in memory updating and why efforts to retract misinformation can even backfire and, ironically, increase misbelief. Though ideology and personal worldviews can be major obstacles for debiasing, there nonetheless are a number of effective techniques for reducing the impact of misinformation, and we pay special attention to these factors that aid in debiasing.

We conclude by providing specific recommendations for the debunking of misinformation. These recommendations pertain to the ways in which corrections should be designed, structured, and applied in order to maximize their impact. Grounded in cognitive psychological theory, these recommendations may help practitioners—including journalists, health professionals, educators, and science communicators—design effective misinformation retractions, educational tools, and public-information campaigns."

On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 2:28 PM, Worsfold, Nancy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Thanks Kamal, this is very helpful.   
Do you know if in any of these articles they refer to solutions?  I have a pretty strong intuitive grasp of the actual problem here, the who and the why and so on.  And this academic work would be helpful in figuring out the theory behind the problem, but I need to find solutions to assist in building health communities.  Has anyone ever tried?
Nancy
 
 
From: Kamal Badar [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2016 11:20 AM
To: Worsfold, Nancy
Cc: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [SOCNET] Inquiry about gossip and social networks
 
Dear Nancy,
 
There is a lot of work done on negative ties in general and negative gossip in particular; specifically in organisational context. See the following references:
 
1) Grosser, T. J., Lopez-Kidwell, V., & Labianca, G. (2010). A social network analysis of positive and negative gossip in organizational life. Group and Organization Management35(2), 177-212. 10.1177/1059601109360391
 
2)  Beersma, B. and Van Kleef, G. A. (2012), Why People Gossip: An Empirical Analysis of Social Motives, Antecedents, and Consequences. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42: 2640–2670. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2012.00956.x
 
3) Ellwardt, L., Labianca, J. & Wittek, R. (2012): Who Are the Objects of Positive and Negative Gossip at Work? A Social Network Perspective on Workplace Gossip. Social Networks 34(2), 193-205.
 
4) Grosser, T.J., Lopez-Kidwell, V., Labianca, G. & Ellwardt, L. (2012): Hearing It Through the Grapevine: Positive and Negative Workplace Gossip. Organizational Dynamics 41(1), 52-61.
 
5) Ellwardt, L., Steglich, C. & Wittek, R. (2012): The Co-evolution of Gossip and Friendship in Workplace Social Networks. Social Networks 34(4), 623-633
 
6) Ellwardt, L. (2011): Gossip in Organizations. A Social Network Study. ICS dissertation, Groningen
 
7) Labianca, G., & Brass, D.J. (2006). Exploring the Social Ledger: Negative Relationships and Negative Asymmetry in Social Networks in Organizations. Academy of Management Review, 31: 596-614.
 
Hope that helps. If I find more work I am happy to send you. I am working on negative gossip in organizational context. Still I would be more then interested to know what turns out for you.Please keep me posted on the results of your research.  
 
Regards
 
On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Worsfold, Nancy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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Hello ‘SocNet”:
 
I am contacting you hoping that perhaps you can point me in the direction of ideas or research with regards to the power of gossip in marginalized neighbourhoods.
 
Let me explain – I am responsible for crime prevention and community safety for the city of Ottawa, Canada.  One of our projects is developing support networks to help neighbourhoods recover from tragic incidents such as shootings and murders.  We funded some research on the topic of how trauma plays out in neighbourhoods because most work on trauma is very individually or clinically focused, but we are more interested in neighbourhoods and community.   The research entitled “Reactions to Trauma on a Community Level” is available on our website as are a number of other relevant community based research projects on neighbourhoods. 
 
One of the key findings in the research was the enormous power of negative gossip in marginalized neighbourhoods where many of these incidents take place.  This is destructive to the fabric of the community and to healing from traumatic events.   We released the research, and a few other things, at an event with 180 community workers and activists and the general consensus seemed to be that negative gossip really is a big problem.  I have no idea of how to address this, or even how to think about addressing it, there is lots of academic literature about community cohesion and gang prevention, but nothing mentions gossip.    Having asked many people where I should start – I was directed to your listserve.
 
So, I hope you don’t mind me reaching out, but if you have any ideas for me, it would be much appreciated.
 
Regards,
 
Nancy
 
 
******************************
Nancy Worsfold
Executive Director/Directrice génerale
Crime Prevention Ottawa/Prévention du crime Ottawa
613-580-2424 ext./poste 28518
 
 
 
 
 
This e-mail originates from the City of Ottawa e-mail system. Any distribution, use or copying of this e-mail or the information it contains by other than the intended recipient(s) is unauthorized. Thank you.
Le présent courriel a été expédié par le système de courriels de la Ville d'Ottawa. Toute distribution, utilisation ou reproduction du courriel ou des renseignements qui s'y trouvent par une personne autre que son destinataire prévu est interdite. Je vous remercie de votre collaboration.
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--
 
Dr. Kamal Badar
Assistant Professor (TTS)
HEC Approved Ph.D. Supervisor
Institute of Management Sciences
University of Balochistan
Quetta, Pakistan. 
 
This e-mail originates from the City of Ottawa e-mail system. Any distribution, use or copying of this e-mail or the information it contains by other than the intended recipient(s) is unauthorized. Thank you.
Le présent courriel a été expédié par le système de courriels de la Ville d'Ottawa. Toute distribution, utilisation ou reproduction du courriel ou des renseignements qui s'y trouvent par une personne autre que son destinataire prévu est interdite. Je vous remercie de votre collaboration.

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