By definition (at least the definition used by social scientists who study gossip), gossip is any talk about someone who is not present, it is usually something on which we can make a moral judgment (meaning that we tend to approve or disapprove of information) and it is entertaining (meaning you don't feel like working). Gossip is a light, informal conversation, and usually about other people's issues. It can be fun to gossip about others, but no one likes it when they're the subject of gossip. Only a small part of the conversations analysed, around 15%, were considered negative gossip (although positive gossip represented an even smaller part, with only 9%).
And when your conversation turns to gossip, as will inevitably happen, remember that something good can come out with the right intentions, of course. People tend to think that gossip is synonymous with malicious rumors, humiliation, or the breathless spread of a sensational scoop. In addition, Feinberg's research has shown that gossip can promote cooperation by disseminating important information. Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar pioneered this idea, comparing gossip with primate grooming as a way of creating emotional ties.
Not surprisingly, they felt happier when they heard positive gossip about themselves, and more annoyed when they heard negative gossip about themselves than to hear gossip about others. The Bible often uses the word gossip to describe a type of person rather than just a pattern of communication. Torres's research has found that gossip can prevent loneliness, while other studies have found that it can facilitate bonding and closeness and serve as a form of entertainment. A physiological distinction must also be drawn between active and passive participation in gossip.
Sometimes, you might notice that you're gossiping when you suddenly lower your voice, look around to see who might be listening, and approach your friend before speaking. According to Dunbar's work, gossip gives humans the ability to disseminate valuable information on very large social networks. And as the news almost inevitably returns to the source of such gossip, it can “serve to keep people under control, morally speaking,” Robbins adds. On the other hand, when they could actively gossip about the person or situation, it calmed them down and reduced their heart rate.
The study also found that the caudate nucleus, a reward center in the brain, was activated in response to negative celebrity gossip; subjects seemed to be entertained or entertained by lewd celebrity scandals. Some scholars view gossip as evidence of cultural learning, as it offers teaching moments and providing people with examples of what is socially acceptable and what is not.