• Beyond The Bindi

Gossip is something where friendship and jealousy go hand in hand as described in the Indian culture

"Gossip is something where friendship and jealousy go hand in hand as described in the Indian culture. Yellow depicts friendship and green depicts jealousy. Women gossiping is displayed in contemporary style in this painting." 🎨 Artist: @injety_janaki

This picture by Janaki is so telling. We can all relate to it, right? Her description inspired us to do some reading into gossip and the function it served in ancient societies. In the 'Frontiers in Psychology' journal, gossip is described as an ubiquitous phenomenon, which precedes its reputation. Hearing information about others serves important social functions such as learning without direct interaction and observation. Despite important social functions, gossip has a rather negative reputation. The journal focuses on why people gossip and how these reasons are related to personality and situational settings. Six distinct motives were identified that underlie gossip behaviour: information validation, information gathering, relationship building, protection, social enjoyment, and negative influence. The most important motive was validating information about the gossip target followed by the motive to acquire new information about the gossip target. The least important motive was harming the gossip target. The motivational pattern was highly similar between private and work context. Interestingly, the importance of motives mainly depends on the gossiper's narcissism both in work and in private settings. The findings suggest that the negative reputation of gossip is not justified. In fact, even “dark” personalities appear to use gossip to tune their picture of other humans and themselves and not to harm others.

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