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Jewel Fields English 300 Dr. Winters March 21, 2018 Rumors: Why They Spread In a county that is split in more ways than one, we are consistently trying to present the opposition in a negative light, often times by any means necessary. In order to achieve this, rumors are started, the truth gets distorted and other times, down right lies are told. Donald Trump and the republican party were attempting to attack the credibility of former President Barack Obama when they accused him of being born in another country separate of the United States. Even after former President Obama released his United States issued birth certificate, the opposite party refused to recant and even referred to the evidence as “fake news.” Not accepting concrete evidence that has been presented, bleeds ignorance and effects one’s credibility and leadership. This instance raises the question, why do we as humans refuse to accept solid evidence if it goes against our opinions and beliefs? It’s often believed that a lack of education is the reason for rumors spreading, but in fact education has nothing to do with it. Robert H. Knapp defines rumors as “a proposition for belief of topical reference disseminated without official verification[CITATION Kna \l 1033 ].” As humans, we are biased creatures. Regardless of how well educated we are on a subject, we’re bound to form an opinion. Therefore, if someone is not a supporter of former President Barack Obama, it would be easy for them to believe the rumor that he is not a US born citizen to fuel their own negative biases, even if they know that a non-US born citizen cannot run for president. Author Gregory Rodriguez says it best, “Rumors and conspiracy theories can only thrive in the Fields 1
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minds of people who are predisposed to believe them[ CITATION Rod \l 1033 ].” This statement is very powerful and explains so much about the way humans think. Rumors satisfy our need be to be right about our biases, which is why we’re so inclined to believe them. Daniel Goleman attributes anxiety as a major part of why rumors are even spread to begin with[ CITATION Gol \l 1033 ]. If someone is already anxious about a something, they are much more likely to spread a
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  • Fall '07
  • StacyWade
  • United States presidential election, 2008, President Trump

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