All human beings participate in some way, despite the old adage: “If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. Whether it's a talk in the workplace, sharing family news, or group text messages between friends, it's inevitable that everyone who talks, well, talks about other people. In fact, a 1993 observational study found that male participants spent 55% of their time talking and women spent 67% of their talking time “discussing socially relevant topics”. Only a small part of the conversations analyzed (around 15%) were considered negative gossip (although positive gossip represented an even smaller part, with only 9%).
So while it's true that people can spend a significant amount of time talking about their peers, that talk is often benign. Some researchers argue that gossip helped our ancestors survive. Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar pioneered this idea, comparing gossip with primate grooming as a means of creating emotional ties. Instead of removing fleas and dirt from each other to create emotional ties, Ludden explains, we now talk, which is “where gossip comes into play, because the talks focus mainly on talking about other people and transmitting social information.
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. For example, if there is someone who cheats a lot in a community or social circle and people start talking about that person in a negative way, Robbins says, collective criticism should warn others of the consequences of cheating. 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. 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 in the face of lewd celebrity scandals.
The researchers also surveyed how the subjects felt, in addition to studying what their brain images revealed. 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. That said, spreading or not correcting gossip that you know is false has no prosocial benefit. In another of Feinberg's studies, a group of participants identified members who behaved selfishly through gossip and quickly expelled them.
In the study, participants were divided into subgroups, and then each person received a series of points representing small sums of money. Each participant could contribute these points to their group, in which case, the points would be doubled and redistributed equally or they would keep them to themselves. Armed with knowledge of their teammates' decisions, the participants returned to play the game in different groups. Most importantly, they could inform their new groups of how much someone had contributed in previous years and vote to completely exclude someone who had behaved selfishly from a round.
Gossip also says something about the relationships that people have with each other. Torres's research has discovered that gossip can prevent loneliness, while other studies have found that it can facilitate bonding and closeness and serve as a form of entertainment. And when your conversation turns to gossip, as will inevitably happen, remember that something good can come out with the right intentions, of course. Gossip involves talking to another person to spread rumors about a person or situation.
Sometimes it's mundane everyday information, but when gossip includes elements of sexual relations or infidelity, known as juicy gossip, it can be particularly hurtful and harmful. Sure, we like to think of our daily conversations as strictly productive exchanges of ideas and debates about life's unanswered questions, but in reality, we're all talking about other people. Gossip is incredibly harmful to any organization. And, what is often overlooked is why people gossip.
But before answering the question, “Why do people gossip at work? Let's clarify one thing. I truly believe that she is the rare person who chooses to gossip simply because she is bad and damages the reputation of the person or entity being talked about. People tend to think that gossip is synonymous with malicious rumors, humiliations, or the breathless spread of a sensational scoop. If your co-worker tells you that your boss is going to fire people, be prepared to look for another source of income and insurance.
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. If people believe that they don't have the information that others have, they will feel left out and out of the “inner circle”. A good gossiper is someone to whom people trust information and someone who uses that information in a responsible manner. And in general, people who were more extroverted tended to gossip more than those who were more introverted.
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. . .