This YouTube video spreads a rumor that Ebola is a “Zombie Virus” and that Ebola patients have been known to rise from the dead. The rumor has been debunked. It was nothing more than a hoax. But it was bound to happen, wasn’t it? The level of paranoia surrounding the spread of Ebola alongside the current trend toward zombie-mania in popular culture was certain to produce this kind of hoax.
- Do you agree/disagree with the reasons given in this article? Why?
- How would you go about researching the psychology of hoaxes?
- What strategies can you use to avoid falling for hoaxes?
- If you were going to plan a hoax, how smart would you have to be to get away with it? What strategies would you use then? What would you have to understand about human psychology to make it work?
We’re not advocating actually pulling off any hoaxes, online or otherwise, but the mental exercise in coming up with one does require some critical thinking skills and some research skills. These are the same skills you will need when you work on your research projects for school, and they are the same skills you will need when you find solutions to problems on the job and in your life.
That said, did you hear about the death of Jeff Goldblum? So sad.