Urban Legend Homework
Your job is to research an urban legend and analyze it in the terms Gilovich introduces in
Chapter 6 of his book. He turns to communication theory for explanation of the kinds of
stories that people tend to remember and repeat, and the kinds of errors that result. Some
principles include justification (informativeness versus entertainment), immediacy,
sharpening and leveling, ironic plausibility, and self-interest. In addition, you need not
limit your analysis to these terms. If you see additional explanations for why your urban
legend IS an urban legend (why people continue pass it on to others), feel free to add
these as well.
Some sources for urban legends:
YOU MUST SELECT A LEGEND THAT IS FALSE.
The paper should be 3-5 pages in length and follow the formatting requirements in the
syllabus. Include a printout of your main internet source; papers without this will
not be accepted.
Summary of the legend (no more than a half-page paragraph): /10
Explanation of why the legend persists (in terms of what Gilovich /80
discusses) including how the legend meets the criteria you use
Source document /10