Gossip for Good? New Research Shows Benefits of Gossip

Gossip Girls

 

As I have discussed in my book “Half a Glass: The Realist’s Guide[1] rumors and gossip are going to happen whether you want them to or not. The only decision you can make is if you want to know what’s being shared or be clueless to the information (or misinformation).  While you may think gossip is ugly and useless, science is proving otherwise.

The Myth:Rumors are ugly, horrible things[2].

The Reality: Rumors can be a viable way to know what is happening around you.

And now it seems that gossip can be good for your health and conscience:

Researchers found that when people in the study saw someone acting badly, their heart rates increased. But researchers found that it helped their heart rates when they were able to share what they witnessed with someone else, particularly to warn them of the potential exploitation.

 

“Spreading information about the person whom they had seen behave badly tended to make people feel better, quieting the frustration that drove their gossip,” study researcher Robb Willer, a social psychologist at UC Berkeley, said in a statement.

 

In addition, researchers found that people in the study were even willing to sacrifice money in order to let other people know of cheaters who were players in economic trust games — in this case, gossiping was a means of preventing other people from being taken advantage of, said study researcher Matthew Feinberg, who is also a social psychologist at UC Berkeley.

 

The research is published online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

You don’t need to pass gossip along but be open to hear what’s happening around you. It builds trust and peace of mind.

 

Or so I’ve heard…

Buy Craig’s book “Half a Glass: The Realist’s Guide
to read more about how negative issues can be used for positive solutions.

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