‘Gossip is Ubiquitous’: Study Busts Popular Myths About Gossiping
Do women really gossip more than men? A new study busts some popular myths about gossip.
Who doesn’t like some fresh juicy gossip? While we all indulge in the otherwise looked-down-upon activity, it isn’t rare to hear stereotypes like ‘only women gossip’. Finally, results of a new study debunk some popular myths about gossip.
The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, aimed to observe the characteristics of those who gossip and the content of the gossip itself.
Disassociating gossip from the value-judgement that the society tends to ascribe to it, the researchers defined the activity as simply ‘talking about someone who isn’t present.’
Science Daily quotes Megan Robbins, an assistant psychology professor and co-author of the study,
There is a surprising dearth of information about who gossips and how, given public interest and opinion on the subject.
Data was obtained from 467 people, aged between 18 to 58 years, who wore a portable listening device called Electronically Activated Recorder, or EAR. Gossip was recorded to have taken place 4003 times, which was further divided into positive, negative and neutral.
Some of the revealed facts were that younger people indulge in more negative gossip than older adults, gossip mostly was about an acquaintance, and while women were observed to gossip more often than men, it was majorly only neutral and more of an information-sharing exercise. The researchers also found that there is no discrepancy in the amount of gossip based on social class; poorer or less educated individuals didn’t gossip any more than their counterparts.
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
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