What is it called when people gossip?

A person who spreads malicious gossip. Blabbermouth, storyteller, charlatan, charlatan, charlatan, storyteller. We all know someone who never seems to stop talking. They are a charlatan, a charlatan, a charlatan, but they are also a Blatherskite, a rattler and a charlatan, as well as a “clackling magpie” and a “gossip vendor”.

The data showed that almost all of the study participants gossiped (only 34 of the 467 didn't gossip at all). Most gossip was not coded as positive or negative; most of the gossip recorded in this study (75 percent) was neutral. Women engaged in more neutral gossip than men, but the amount of negative and positive gossip shared between men and women was fairly constant. And in general, people who were more extroverted tended to gossip more than those who were more introverted.

This type of gossip is called “prosocial gossip” because it serves to warn others, which has the effect of reducing general exploitation in groups, Willer says. A good gossiper is someone to whom people trust information and someone who uses that information in a responsible manner. Experiments conducted by his team suggest that the threat of receiving gossip deters unreliable behavior; once people are gossiped for behaving unreliably, they tend to reform their behavior; and gossip helps people know who to avoid and who not to trust. The researchers listened to the sound files of all of those conversations and anything they classified as gossip (any talk about other people who weren't part of the conversation) was coded as positive, negative, or neutral on a standardized scale.

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