Gossip Study is Helpful for Building Relationships and Closeness
Windowofworld.com – Gossip often has a negative social connotation. Yet according to research, gossip has health benefits.
According to a study published by Darmouth College, shows that about 14 percent of our daily conversations are mostly gossip. This is because gossip facilitates social relationships and enables us to learn about the world indirectly through the experiences of others.
“Gossip is a complex form of communication that is often misunderstood. In fact, gossip can be a means of social and substantive relations beyond negative connotations,” said Eshin Jolly, Ph.D., one of the study’s authors, quoted from the Mind Body Green page.
Furthermore, Jolly said gossip is not just about sharing rumors, but can also be as simple as having a casual private chat with a friend, something we may have missed over the past year amid social distancing.
Why do we enjoy gossiping?
Jolly and Luke Chang, Ph.D., assistant professors of psychology, try to see why people in their personal and professional lives spend so much time gossiping. In this case, the researcher created an online game to examine the role of gossip.
As a result, the study shows that gossiping is a rich and varied communication with several social functions. Different types of gossip arise depending on the amount of information available.
Spontaneous conversations about other people occur more frequently during games when players can only observe the behavior of a few members of their group. When players can immediately observe all of their group members, they tend to chat and discuss broader topics.
What are the benefits?
The study found that participants who gossip felt connected or close to one another. Chang explained that by exchanging information with other people, gossip can be a way to build a relationship. Because gossip engages trust and facilitates social bonds that are strengthened when further communication occurs.
According to the study, the team’s findings on the role of gossip are consistent with creating a shared reality in which friends and colleagues often find common bonds, exchange personal information, and discuss other people’s behavior to build a consensus of socially acceptable behavior. This social relationship then has an effect on psychological and physical health.
“Gossip can be useful because it helps people learn through the experiences of others, while also enabling them to become closer to one another in the process.” said Jolly.