NH College Conducted a Study About Gossiping and Found It Can Have Real Benefits
Gossiping is a natural human behavior that we all do, whether we like to admit it or not! I bet even Mother Teresa gossiped a time or two in her day. Sure, it can be unbecoming and get you into some trouble if word gets back to the person you've been gossiping about. But it is an undeniable fact that when two people gossip their bond becomes stronger. A couple of professors at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, really delved into this complex form of human connection. Their findings? Not all gossip is bad! Some of it is actually good for you!
The word gossip inherently has a bad reputation in our society. People equate it to trash talk or spreading untrue rumors about people. However, according an article from Dartmouth College, this isn't always the case. A one on one Zoom call that consists primarily of small talk can be considered gossip. The study found that 14% of people's daily conversations are gossip, and primarily neutral in tone.
The researchers created an online game in order to observe the participants and their gossip patterns and behaviors. They found that gossip "enables individuals to learn from the experiences of others when direct observation is not feasible". They also found the players that chatted or gossiped throughout the game felt more connected with the other players. The article goes on to explain that gossip is a vital tool utilized to "find common bonds, establish alliances, exchange personal information, and establish a consensus of socially acceptable behavior"
So spread the word! Gossiping is good for your soul and brain!