Curriculum VITA

                                                                    NICHOLAS DIFONZO, Ph.D.

                                                                                         


Department of Psychology

Rochester Institute of Technology

18 Lomb Memorial Drive

Rochester, NY 14623

(585) 475-2907; FAX: (585) 475-6715

email: NXDGSS@rit.edu

 


 

Education:

 

A.B. (1981) Engineering, Lafayette College, Easton, PA.

M.A. (1990) Counseling, Rider College, Lawrenceville, NJ.

M.A. (1992) Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA.

Ph.D. (1994) Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA., Concentration: Social & Organizational Psychology

 

Date of Birth: 19 December 1959

 

Citizenship: U.S.

 

Membership in Professional Organizations

 

American Psychological Association

American Psychological Society

APA Div. 8: Society for Personality and Social Psychologists

Eastern Psychological Association

            Society for the Scientific Study of Religion

            APA Div. 36: Psychology of Religion

 

                                                                                    Positions

 


7/2006 to present

Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.

 

2000 Fall

to 6/2006

Associate Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.

1994 to 1999

Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Rochester Institute of Technology.


                                                                                         

                                                                                Special Honors

 


2007

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (2007). Rumor psychology: Social & organizational approaches. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, won the Gold Medal-2006 ForeWord Book of the Year Award in the psychology category. http://www.forewordmagazine.com/botya/search2k6.aspx?srchlimit=1

 

1994

1994 Marianthi Georgoudi Award, Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. The Award is conferred upon one dissertation author each year for philosophical and theoretical contributions to the field of Psychology.

 

1990

"With Distinction" Award, Masters of Arts in Counseling, Rider College, Lawrenceville, NJ. (Similar to magna cum laude)


 

External Research Grants

 

            DiFonzo, N., Bordia, P., Bourgeois, M., Brooks, B., Suls, J., & Ross, D. (2006-2008). DHB: Rumor Propagation: Modeling & Testing Dynamic Social Influence Mechanisms. National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. Grant No. BCS-0527371. $749,546. http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0527371

 

DiFonzo, N. (2006-2008). REU Supplement: DHB: Rumor Propagation: Modeling & Testing Dynamic Social Influence Mechanisms. National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. Grant No. BCS-0527371, Amendment 001. $6,000.       

 

Barnes, S., DiFonzo, N., Jacobs, S., Egert, C. (2007-2009). Theoretical and Applied Approaches to Teaching Social Computing in STEM Education. National Science Foundation, Washington, DC. Grant No. DUE-0633401. $149,786. http://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0633401

 

DiFonzo, N. & Bordia, P. (1997). Managing Organizational Rumors. The Institute for Public Relations, Gainesville, FL. $7000.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Toth, E. (2000). New Directions in Psychology and Public Relations. The Institute for Public Relations, Gainesville, FL. $4000.

 

Bordia, P., Gallois, C., & DiFonzo, N. (2002-2004). Boomerang effect of rumour denials. Australian Research Council (Discovery), AU$95,000.

 

Bordia, P., & DiFonzo, N. (1998). Rumour and Prediction: Causal versus Chaotic Explanatory Styles. Australian Research Council, Canberra, Australia. AU$11,690.

 

Bordia, P. & DiFonzo, N. (2000). Source characteristics in rumour denial effectiveness. Australian Research Council, AU$12,069.

 

            Bordia, P., Gallois, C., & DiFonzo, N. (2001). The boomerang effect of rumour denials: An attributional analysis. University of Queensland External Support Enabling Grant, AU$17,000.

 

            Bordia, P. & DiFonzo, N. (2004). Technical report on rumour, retraction and correction. Commissioned by the Defence Science & Technology Organisation, Department of Defence, AU$15,000.

 

Professional Activities

 

2008-present

Consulting Editor for Social Influence

 

2000-2008

Consulting Editor for The Journal of Social Psychology

 

2003-present

Founder and administrator of Rumor-GossipResearch@listserver.rit.edu (an Internet discussion group of psychologists and sociologists interested in rumor and gossip research)


 

Consultant Activities

 


2008-present

Expert witness for the defendant on the topic of rumors: Corina Smith vs. City of Los Angeles et al.

 

1998-present

Expert witness for the plaintiff on the topic of rumors about Satanism and products: Procter & Gamble vs. Amway Corporation et al.

 

2000-2002

Expert witness for the defendant on the topic of rumors about Satanism and products: Amway Corporation vs. Procter & Gamble

 

Peer Reviewed Publications

 

DiFonzo, N. (in press). Rumor. Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology. London: Sage.

 

DiFonzo, N. (2008). Rumors. In William A. Darity, Jr., Editor-in-chief. International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Vol. 7, 2nd ed., pp. 295-298). Detroit, MI: Macmillan Reference USA (Thomson Gale).

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (2007). Rumor Transmission. In R. F. Baumeister & K., D. Vohs (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Psychology. Pp. 771-773. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (1997/2005). Rumor and prediction: Making sense (but losing dollars) in the stock market. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 71(3), 329-353. Reprinted 2005 in International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, 187, 248-272.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (1998). A tale of two corporations: Managing uncertainty during organizational change. Human Resource Management, 37(3&4), 295-303.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (1998). How Top PR Professionals Handle Hot Air: Types of Corporate Rumors, their Effects, and Strategies to Manage them. Gainesville, FL: Institute for Public Relations.

 

DiFonzo, N. & Bordia, P. (2000). How top PR professionals handle hearsay: Corporate rumors, their effects, and strategies to manage them. Public Relations Review, 26(2), 173-190.

 

DiFonzo, N. & Bordia, P. (2002). Corporate rumor activity, belief, and accuracy. Public Relations Review, 150, 1-19.

 

DiFonzo, N. & Bordia, P. (2002). Rumor and stable-cause attribution in prediction and behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 88, 785-800.

 

DiFonzo, N. & Bordia, P. (2006). Rumor in organizational contexts. In D. A. Hantula (Ed.), Advances in psychology: A tribute to Ralph L. Rosnow. (pp. 249-274). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (2007). Rumors influence: Toward a dynamic social impact theory of rumor. In A. R. Pratkanis (Ed.), The Science of Social Influence: Advances and Future Progress. [pp.271-296]. Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (2007). Rumor psychology: Social & organizational approaches. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (2006). Rumeurs, ragots et legends urbaines. [Rumor, gossip, and urban legends]. Diogène, 213 (Janvier-Mars). 23-45.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (2007). Rumor, gossip, and urban legends. Diogènes 213, 54(1). 19-35.

 

DiFonzo, N., Bordia, P., & Rosnow, R. L. (1994). Reining in Rumors. Organizational Dynamics, 23(1), 47-62.

 

DiFonzo, N., Hantula, D. A., & Bordia, P. (1997). Microworlds for a dynamic I/O Psychology in the 21st century. The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist, 35(2), 19-25.

 

DiFonzo, N., Hantula, D. A., & Bordia, P. (1998). Microworlds for experimental research: Having your (control & collection) cake, and realism too. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 30(2), 278-286.

 

Bordia, P., & DiFonzo, N. (2004). Problem solving in social interactions on the Internet: Rumor as social cognition. Social Psychology Quarterly, 67(1), 33-49.

 

            Bordia, P., & DiFonzo, N. (2002). When social psychology became less social: Prasad and the history of rumor research. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 5, 49-61.

 

Bordia, P., & DiFonzo, N. (2005). Psychological motivations in rumor spread. In G.A. Fine, V. Campion-Vincent, & C. Heath (Eds.), (pp. 87-101), Rumor mills: The social impact of rumor and legend. New York: Aldine.

 

Bordia, P., DiFonzo, N., & Chang, A. (1999). Rumor as group problem‑solving: Development patterns in informal computer‑mediated groups. Small Group Research, 30(1), 8-28.

 

Bordia, P., DiFonzo, N., Haines, R., & Chaseling, L. (2005). Rumor denials as persuasive messages: Effects of personal relevance, source, and message characteristics. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(6), 1301-1331.

 

Bordia, P., DiFonzo, N., & Schultz, C. A. (2000). Source characteristics in denying rumors of organizational closure: Honesty is the best policy. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 11, 2301-2309.

 

Bordia, P., DiFonzo, N., & Travers, V. (1998). Denying rumors of organizational change: A higher source is not always better. Communications Research Reports, 15(2). 189-198.

 

Bordia, P., Hunt, L., Paulsen, N., Tourish, D., & DiFonzo, N. (2004). Communication and uncertainty during organizational change: Is it all about control? European Journal of Work & Organizational Psychology, 13(3), 345-365.

 

Bordia, P., Jones, E., Gallois, C., Callan, V., & DiFonzo, N. (2006). Management are aliens! Rumors and stress during organizational change. Group & Organization Management, 31(5), 601-621.

 

Costenbader, V., Rohrer, A.M., & DiFonzo, N. (2000). Kindergarten screening: A survey of current practice. Psychology in the Schools,37(4), 323-332.

 

Popular Press Books

 

            DiFonzo, N. (in press). The Watercooler Effect: A Psychologist Explores the Extraordinary Power of Rumors. New York: Avery (Penguin). http://www.amazon.com/Watercooler-Effect-Psychologist-Explores-Extraordinary/dp/1583333258/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205934254&sr=8-1

 

Non-Peer Reviewed Publications

 

Bordia, P., & DiFonzo, N. (March 24, 2002). Hot stuff: The risky allure of rumour. The Sunday Age.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (January/February 1999). Psst. — What do you know about handling the rumor mill? Journal of Employee Communication Management, pp. 14-19.

 

Technical Reports

 

            DiFonzo, N., & Toth, E. (2001). Annotated Bibliography of Recent and Significant Psychological Research of Import to Public Relations Practitioners. Gainesville, FL: Institute for Public Relations.

 

            Rodenhiser, R., & DiFonzo, N. (2001). Report to Livingston County Coalition of Churches: Organization Evaluation. Geneseo, NY: Livingston County Coalition of Churches.

 

            Bordia, P., & DiFonzo, N. (2004). Rumor spread, belief, accuracy and management: A literature review. [A technical report prepared for the Defence Science & Technology Organisation, Department of Defence, Australia].

 

Conference Proceedings

 

            DiFonzo, N. (2000). Why We Measure. In J. Felton (Ed.), Proceedings of International Symposium IV: Putting the Yardstick to PR: How do we Measure Effectiveness Globally? Gainesville, FL: Institute for Public Relations.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (1999). How top PR professionals handle hot air. In J. Felton (Ed.), Proceedings of International Symposium III: Global Terrorism: How Does Public Relations Prepare? Gainesville, FL: Institute for Public Relations.

 

Peer-reviewed Conference Presentations

 

DiFonzo, N., Bourgeois, M. J., Homan, C., Suls, J. M., Brooks, B. P., Ross, D. S., Bordia, P., Stupak, N., Frazee, M., Brougher, S., Schwab, N., & McKinlay, M. (2008). Dynamic social impact mechanisms in rumor propagation. Poster presented at the Group Processes and Intergroup Relations Meeting at the 2008 Annual Conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, February 7, Albuquerque, NM.

 

DiFonzo, N. (1993). Rumor and behavior: Anti-regressive effects of rumors on individual trading patterns in the stock market. Paper presented at the 64th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

 

DiFonzo, N. (1994). The fundamental attribution error in persistence studies. Poster presented to the 6th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Society, Washington, DC.

 

DiFonzo, N. (1994). When do rumors warrant belief? Poster presented at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Providence, RI.

 

DiFonzo, N. (1995). Piggy-backed syllogisms: How stock-market rumors are evaluated and acted upon by brokers. Paper presented at the 66th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Society, Boston, MA.

 

DiFonzo, N. (1997, April). Why I studied rumor-based stock market trading using computer simulation: Advantages and experimental and mundane realism. In S. Goltz (Chair), Using computer simulations in experiments: Realism and other issues. Symposium conducted at the 12th Annual Conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists, St. Louis, MO, USA.

 

            DiFonzo, N. (2001, April). Stereotyping and Equal Employment Opportunity. Paper presented at the 7th Annual Conference on Racism, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.

 

            DiFonzo, N. (2003, January), Rumor & Gossip: Recent Directions in Theory & Research. Chaired  symposium presented at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychologists, Los Angeles, CA.

 

            DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (2002, January). Causal attribution in rumors. Poster Presented at the 3rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychologists, Savannah, GA.

 

            DiFonzo, N. & Bordia, P. (2003, March). Rumors in organizational settings tend to be accurate. Poster presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Society, Baltimore, MD.

 

DiFonzo, N., Bordia, P., & Rosnow, R. L. (1994). Rumor theory in practice: A qualitative inquiry. Paper presented at the 65th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Providence, RI.

 

            DiFonzo, N., Bordia, P., & Winterkorn, R. (2003, January). Distrust is a key ingredient in rumor transmission. In N. DiFonzo (chair), Rumor & Gossip: Recent Directions in Theory & Research. Symposium presented at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychologists, Los Angeles, CA.

 

            DiFonzo, N., Bourgeois, M. J., Homan, C., Suls, J. M., Brooks, B. P., Ross, D. S., Bordia, P., Stupak, N., Frazee, M., Brougher, S., Schwab, N., & McKinlay, M. (2008). Dynamic social impact mechanisms in rumor propagation. Poster presented at the Group Processes and Intergroup Relations Meeting at the 2008 Annual Conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, February 7, Albuquerque, NM.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Hantula, D. A. (1995). Why some people escalate commitments to failing courses of action: Bayesian updating. Poster presented at the 7th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Society, New York, NY.

 

DiFonzo, N., Hantula, D. A., & Bordia, P. (1997, November). Microworlds for human experimental research: Realism, control and accuracy. Paper presented at the 27th Annual Conference for the Society for Computers in Psychology, Philadelphia, PA.

 

DiFonzo, N., Rohrer, A., Barry, B., & Grebinger, P. (1996). Your 10 most positive experiences: A motivational assessment. Paper presented at the 67th annual meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

 

Bordia, P., Irmer, B., DiFonzo, N., Gallois, C. (2004, January). The role of causal attribution judgments in rumor denial processing: Mud sticks! Poster presentated at the 5th annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychologists.

 

Bordia P., Jones, E., Gallois, C., Callan, V., & DiFonzo, N. (2003, June). Management are aliens! Rumours during organisational change. Presented at the 5th Australian Industrial & Organisational Psychology Conference, Melbourne.

 

            Bordia, P., Irmer, B., DiFonzo, N., & Gallois, C. (2003, April). Attributional analysis of rumour denials. Presented at the 32nd annual meeting of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists, Sydney, Australia.

           

            Bordia, P., Hunt, E., Paulsen, N., Tourish, D., & DiFonzo, N. (2001, May). Uncertainty During Organizational Change: It is All About Control. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, Washington, DC.

 

Bordia, P., DiFonzo, N., & Schultz. C. (1999, June). Denying rumours of organisational closure: Honest sources are the most effective. Presented at the Third Australian Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, Brisbane, Australia.

 

Bordia, P., Wheelan, S., DiFonzo, N. (1998). Developmental patterns in informal computer‑mediated groups. Presented at the 1998 conference of the Society for Australasian Social Psychology, Christchurch, New Zealand.

 

Bordia, P., Travers, V., & DiFonzo, N. (1997).  Combatting rumours of organizational change: A higher source in not always better.  Presented at the second Australian Industrial/Organizational Psychology Conference, Melbourne.

 

            Salim, S. Z. & DiFonzo, N. (2003, March). “I heard that…”: Rumor content. Poster presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Society, Baltimore, MD.

 

Invited Posters

 

DiFonzo, N., Bordia, P. Bourgeois, M. J., Brooks, B. P., Ross, D. S., Homan, C., Suls, J. M., Beckstead, J. (2007). Rumor Propagation: Modeling & Testing Dynamic Social Influence Mechanisms. Poster presented at the National Science Foundation Human and Social Dynamics 2007 Principal Investigators Meeting, October 1-2, 2007, Arlington, VA. Funding for this research was provided by National Science Foundation Grant No. BCS-0527371.

 

Brooks, B. P., DiFonzo, N., & Ross, D. S. (2006). Empirically-based mathematical modeling of rumor transmission within social networks. Poster presented at the National Science Foundation Human and Social Dynamics 2006 Principal Investigators Meeting, September 13, 2006, Washington, DC. Funding for this research was provided by National Science Foundation Grant No. BCS-0527371.

 

Invited Conference Addresses

 

DiFonzo, N. (1997, July). Rumor and Propaganda. Paper presented as a plenary respondent to K. S. Sitaram , The Art and Science of Propaganda: The Use of Communication in War and Peace. Paper presented at the 3rd annual conference on Intercultural Communication (Communication, Technology, and Cultural Values), Rochester, NY.

 

DiFonzo, N. (1999, March). How top PR professionals handle hearsay. Invited paper presented at the monthly meeting of the Rochester NY chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

 

DiFonzo, N. (2000, April). Why we measure. Invited paper presented at the 4th Annual Institute for Public Relations International Symposium: Public Relations Measurement, Washington, DC.

 

DiFonzo, N. (2003, April). Making Sense Together: A Brief Psychology of Rumor. Invited address given to the faculty of St. Bonaventure University (University Friday Forum), St. Bonaventure, NY.

 

DiFonzo, N. (2003, April). Ferreting out the Facts together: Rumor Accuracy Models and Mechanisms. Invited address given to the Psychology Dept. of St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, NY.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (1999, February). How Top PR Professionals Handle Hot Air: Types of Corporate Rumors, their Effects, and Strategies to Manage them. Paper presented at the 3rd Annual Institute for Public Relations International Symposium, Gainesville, FL.

 

DiFonzo, N., & Bordia, P. (1999, June). How top PR professionals handle hearsay: Corporate rumors, their effects, and strategies to manage them. Invited paper presented at the Public Relations Society of America Educators Academy, College Park, MD.

     DiFonzo, N. & Bordia, P. (2004, May). Accuracy models & mechanisms in rumor transmission. Invited paper presented at the Selection in Culture and the Marketplace of Ideas Conference, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, NC.

            Bordia, P., & DiFonzo, N. (2003, April). Psychological motivations in rumor spread. Invited presentation at the Social Impact of Rumor and Legend Conference (a conference sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation), Bellagio, Italy.

 

DiFonzo, N. (2008, April). Finding Facts or Fashioning Fallacy? Keynote address to the University of Pittsburgh regional undergraduate research conference, Johnstown, PA.

 

                                                                                 M.A. Thesis

 

DiFonzo, N. (1992). Rumor and behavior: Effects of rumors on individual trading patterns in the stock market. Unpublished Masters Thesis, Temple University.

 

                                                                             Ph.D. Dissertation

 

DiFonzo, N. (1994). Piggy-backed syllogisms for investor behavior: Probabilistic mental modeling in rumor-based stock market trading. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, Temple University.