Gossiping benefits society, study claims

The Telegraph:

Gossip can benefit society by preventing bullying and encouraging co-operation, a new study suggests.

In contrast to the conventional belief that gossip and social exclusion are malicious and should be avoided, researchers found sharing “reputational information” could have a positive effect on society.

Gossip can help social groups to reform bullies, encourages co-operation and stops “nice people” being exploited, according to the study, published in the journal Psychological Science.

Dr Matthew Feinberg, a researcher at Stanford University in the United State who co-wrote the study, said: “Groups that allow their members to gossip sustain co-operation and deter selfishness better than those that don’t.

“And groups do even better if they can gossip and ostracise untrustworthy members.

Read the whole story: The Telegraph

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