Science: Who Believes Rumors?

In wartime, soldiers usually betray the state of their nerves by the bitterness of their griping; civilians, by their readiness to believe rumors. At Syracuse University, Psychologist Floyd H. Allport tried twelve current rumors about rationing on a cross section of 537 Syracuse citizens. Results:

¶ One citizen in four believed, partly or fully, at least one of the rumors, though all were false.

¶ Most widely believed (by 45%) was a rumor that a prominent Government official has three cars and a large underground tank filled with gasoline for his personal use. Another...

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