Good Gossip: We May Spread Rumors to Protect Others
Spreading theِ word afterِ you seeِ someone behave badly canِ make youِ feel betterِ andِ it canِ benefit society, suggests a newِ study thatِ explores ourِ impulse toِ gossip andِ how itِ canِ nip selfishness inِ the bud.
Gossip canِ beِ bad, butِ we tend toِ overlook thatِ itِ canِ beِ good asِ well, andِ a lot ofِ gossip isِ driven byِ concern forِ others andِ has positive social effects, saidِ Robb Willer, a study researcher andِ anِ assistant professor ofِ sociology andِ psychology atِ the University ofِ California, Berkeley.
The research joins accumulating evidence of the social benefits of gossip.
It relies onِ a scenario inِ which oneِ person givesِ money orِ some otherِ resource toِ a secondِ person.
Three ofِ the experiments wereِ set upِ soِ the researchers couldِ observe howِ the participants reacted whenِ theyِ sawِ a player behaving badly.
The researchers foundِ that whenِ people observed othersِ behaving selfishly, theirِ heart rates increased.