Attributional analysis of rumour denials

Bordia, P., Irmer, B. E., DiFonzo, N. and Gallois, C. (2003). Attributional analysis of rumour denials. In: Australian Journal of Psychology. The 3rd Victorian Postgraduates in Psychology Conference, Melbourne, Vic, Australia, (34-34). 23 November, 2002.


Author Bordia, P.
Irmer, B. E.
DiFonzo, N.
Gallois, C.
Title of paper Attributional analysis of rumour denials
Conference name The 3rd Victorian Postgraduates in Psychology Conference
Conference location Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Conference dates 23 November, 2002
Proceedings title Australian Journal of Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
Journal name Australian Journal of Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
Place of Publication Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Publication Year 2003
Sub-type Published abstract
ISSN 0004-9530
Volume 55
Issue Supplement
Start page 34
End page 34
Total pages 1
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Politicians do it, corporations do it, and defendants in court do it. Many social encounters involve denials of rumours or accusations of wrongdoing. However, denials are not always effective. Sometimes, denials lead to an even more negative evaluation of the target of the rumour (in other words, the denial 'boomerangs'). We argue that this is more likely to happen in situations where people only hear the denial and are not aware of the rumour. Denial in the absence of a rumour leads to uncertainty about the reasons for the denial and the audience attributes the denial to internal reasons ('there must be something wrong about you') instead of external masons ('you are just responding to false rumours'). We conducted two studies comparing conditions involving denial in the presence of a rumour (rumour + denial) versus denial in the absence of a rumour (denial only). Study 1 found greater uncertainty about the reasons for denial and negative evaluation of the rumour target in denial-only condition, confirming the boomerang effect. Study 2 replicated the boomerang effect. Further, as predicted, the denial was attributed more to internal rather than external causes in the denial-only condition. Finally, mediation analysis revealed that attributions underlie the boomerang effect.
Subjects CX
380108 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
759900 Other Social Development and Community Services
Keyword Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Q-Index Code CX

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 12:35:58 EST