Journal article

Bad habit or social good? How perceptions of gossiper morality are related to gossip content

Kim Peters, Yoshihisa Kashima

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | WILEY | Published : 2015

Abstract

From a folk perspective, gossipers (individuals who talk about the behaviours of others) are considered to be immoral individuals, doing harm to those they discuss. However, this folk perspective sits uneasily with recent claims that gossipers may actually do some good. In particular, it has been suggested that gossipers who share diagnostic information about the morality of social targets may help audiences to identify targets who are trustworthy and those who are not. In this way, gossipers may help audiences adaptively regulate their relationships. In this paper, we examined whether audience perceptions of gossiper morality are influenced by their perceptions that the content of gossip is..

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