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Bargain prices were advertised, and at the crack of the designated dawn, a huge mob of crazed shoppers surrounded the house and demanded entry.
Do people have greater trust in the printed word than in the spoken word in general? Do they trust information printed in a media format more than information told to them on the street? Do they tend to trust information they encounter first above contradictory information they receive subsequently?
Or, given that in this instance they perceived they had something to lose was it just an everyday risk assessment? In the absence of verifiable information, did the looters consider the risk of taking something and finding out later that they were a thief less painful than the risk of not taking something and finding out later they could have had it anyway?