The rumors are probably true

Those rumors floating around the office lately about your job being on the line? Worrisome, sure, but easy enough to dismiss -- after all, they're only rumors. But according to a new book, Rumor Psychology: Social and Organizational Approaches, you might want to start cleaning out your desk and scouring the want ads. Rumors -- especially workplace rumors -- tend to be more reliable than we think.

"In a workplace setting — what we call a stable organizational grapevine — people are very good at figuring out the truth," says author and professor Nicholas DiFonzio. "If you tell me something and I work closely with you, I know whether you're a credible source. But even if I'm not so sure, in workplace settings the network connections are so dense that it's easy to cross-check information."

After awhile, the rumor becomes a sort of self-correcting information machine -- not unlike the socially-authored encyclopedia Wikipedia, which a study in the respected journal Nature recently concluded was, at least in terms of its science articles, nearly as accurate as the Britannica.

Of course, there's a difference between workplace rumors and workplace gossip, the difference being people often secretly want juicy bits of gossip to be true, and so truth falls beside the wayside.

Tips For Baking Perfect Cookies

Perfect cookies are within your grasp. Just grab your measuring cups and get started. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education.

Netflix's Most-Binged Shows of 2017, Ranked

Netflix might know your TV habits better than you do. Recently, the entertainment company's normally tight-lipped number-crunchers looked at user data collected between November 1, 2016 and November 1, 2017 to see which series people were powering through and which ones they were digesting more slowly. By analyzing members’ average daily viewing habits, they were able to determine which programs were more likely to be “binged” (or watched for more than two hours per day) and which were more often “savored” (or watched for less than two hours per day) by viewers.

They found that the highest number of Netflix bingers glutted themselves on the true crime parody American Vandal, followed by the Brazilian sci-fi series 3%, and the drama-mystery 13 Reasons Why. Other shows that had viewers glued to the couch in 2017 included Anne with an E, the Canadian series based on L. M. Montgomery's 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables, and the live-action Archie comics-inspired Riverdale.

In contrast, TV shows that viewers enjoyed more slowly included the Emmy-winning drama The Crown, followed by Big Mouth, Neo Yokio, A Series of Unfortunate Events, GLOW, Friends from College, and Ozark.

There's a dark side to this data, though: While the company isn't around to judge your sweatpants and the chip crumbs stuck to your couch, Netflix is privy to even your most embarrassing viewing habits. The company recently used this info to publicly call out a small group of users who turned their binges into full-fledged benders:

Oh, and if you're the one person in Antarctica binging Shameless, the streaming giant just outed you, too.

Netflix broke down their full findings in the infographic below and, Big Brother vibes aside, the data is pretty fascinating. It even includes survey data on which shows prompted viewers to “Netflix cheat” on their significant others and which shows were enjoyed by the entire family.

Netflix infographic "The Year in Bingeing"


More from mental floss studios