How do you track down rumors?

Verplanck, W S (1970) How do you track down rumors? [Journal (Paginated)]

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Many departments have found one or another form of sensitivity training a valuable if not indispensable method for training their students. In almost all cases, it is a powerful and effective tool, designed and used for the betterment in some way of its participants. Such sensitivity-training groups have been employed by some departments successfully at the undergraduate as well as graduate level. The outcomes have been sufficiently satisfactory so that many students are required to participate in groups as part of the educational process. The rumors are to the effect that other departments have encountered serious consequences of intensive sensitivity training for some participants, such that several departments had forbidden that its students engage in T grouping. "Hard" data would be, to put it mildly, hard to come by. But some rumors, especially when they relate to the relationship of the profession to the public, and of faculty members to their students, are disquieting to the degree that requires some investigation--at least an investigation that is sufficient to help us reach a decision whether there should be a full and adequately designed and controlled study. Result: An attempt, not to get precise data, but solely to determine whether there was any fire whatsoever under the smoke--to determine whether it is indeed smoke, or merely local fogging conditions; that is, to track down the rumors. Method: A letter of inquiry was sent to the chairman of all graduate departments that offer degrees in psychology--over 300 of them--with a postcard enabling response by check, and a request for comment and amplification in letters. The postcard tried to determine whether the department chairman had heard such rumors, whether his department had had "incidents," and whether he thought "we have no responsibility."

Item Type:Journal (Paginated)
Subjects:Psychology > Behavioral Analysis
Psychology > Social Psychology
ID Code:606
Deposited By: Verplank, William
Deposited On:04 Mar 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:54


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