Researchers: Gossip May Have Some Benefits (Even in Schools)

Education Week:

Pass it around: A new study shows that while not all gossip is good, some gossip yields real societal benefits.

The study, done by researchers from Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, explores the relationship between spreading information and social pressure. It found that, facing the threat of reputational harm and exclusion from a group, people will lessen their antisocial tendencies.

“Although we have a single word for gossip, it’s multiple different things,” researcher Matthew Feinberg said in an interview. “And some of it serves a really important purpose.” Feinberg suggested that the study may lead teachers to rethink the way they handle some student gossip.

Read the whole story: Education Week

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