Get weekly updates via email!
tip of the day SAT 31 JAN 15
Keep your distance and eventually he'll move on. Make sure you clear up the rules when you break up with him. Be sure you stick to
  • Good House Keeping
    Start fresh this 2015 with Good Housekeeping's January issue, with tips and stories to help you drop those holiday pounds, revamp your look, and even re-ignite the spark in your marriage.
    Good Housekeeping
 
August 15, 2011

New Study: Threat of Gossip Can Suppress Selfishness

Research shows people become more generous if they know people around them have a tendency to tell tales.
2 Comments
Add Yours
gossip_mean_girls.jpgDo you feel like you're surrounded by gossipmongers, FNites? Gossip can ruin lives and reputations, but a new study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science shows it can help make people cooperative and generous too. According to the research done by Bianca Beersma and Gerben Van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam, the threat of gossip makes individuals less likely to be selfish.  

In their experiment, Beersma and Van Kleef divided participants into groups and told them they had been selected to distribute cash-prize lottery tickets. Half of them were told others wouldn't know how many tickets they kept for themselves, while the other half were told their group members would be informed about their decisions. They were also alternately told that their group members had a tendency to gossip or were good secret keepers.

The results showed that while all participants showed a degree of selfishness (that is, they took more than their share of tickets), they became significantly more generous when their actions were public and had a bigger chance of getting gossiped about. "When the threat of gossip exists, group members can expect that they will be talked about if they decide to take a free ride," the researchers explain.

The lesson we think we see here? It's to keep things in your life transparent, whether it's in your job (such as letting your teammates and superiors know what you're doing and where you're going with your projects and the like), in your household finances or rules (such as letting people know that the "no swearing around the kids" rule applies to you and your husband as well as other people in the house), or in your friendships (such as being clear with your friends on where you stand on certain topics or situations). If you hold yourself accountable to others, you will probably find you make more of an effort to make sure you look good and do even better. It's the same principle behind letting people know about your new year's resolutions: if you're the only one who knows you aren't able to keep them, it's no big deal. But if other people are counting on you and encouraging you to keep them, it makes it that much more important to try harder.


Is one of your friends the target of gossip? Read this article for advice:

(Screencap from Mean Girls courtesy of Paramount Pictures)
Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
COMMENTS
Name :
Email :
Website :
Comment :
Security Image
 
 
NOTE: FemaleNetwork.com is a CLEAN ZONE. Editors reserve the right to delete obscene comments.
Filter comments by:
  • Fides Aug 15 2011 @ 01:22pm Report Abuse
       
    "to keep things in your life transparent" -- I'm sorry, but I do not agree with this. Why should I make my life transparent to the public?
    Last modified A long time ago
  • The Female Network Team Aug 15 2011 @ 03:26pm Report Abuse
       
    Hi, Fides!



    We didn't mean making your life transparent to the public per se, just to the people who are impacted by your decisions in any given sphere. We realized that the way this was phrased might not have made this too obvious, however, and have edited the paragraph.



    Thanks for your comment, and hope you keep reading!



    Sincerely,

    The Female Network Team
    Last modified A long time ago
Filter comments by:
1 to 2 of 2
 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
follow us
LATEST Articles
MOST READ Articles
4 Seemingly Innocent Habits You Need to Break Now!
Sidestep complications by ditching these health offenses.  Jan 30, 2015 
6 Songs that Will Boost Your Mood
Crank up these tunes to shoo away the bad vibes.  Jan 30, 2015 
7 Steps to a Happier You
Make your life a little less stressful.   Jan 29, 2015 
5 Ways to Turn Your Home Into a Relaxing Spa
Get your me-time on...right in the comfort of your own home!  Jan 28, 2015 
5 Things You Need to Know about the New Pegan Diet
Eat your way back to peak health.   Jan 28, 2015 
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT