Emily Bell is now at the Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, Hartford, CT. Maria Garcia is now a graduate student at National-Louis University, Chicago. The authors thank four anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier drafts of the manuscript. Portions of this research were presented at a conference on “Media and Universals” at Siegen University, Germany (February 2005); and at the annual meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Austin, TX (June 2005).
Who Do We Tell and Whom Do We Tell On? Gossip as a Strategy for Status Enhancement1
Article first published online: 26 JUN 2007
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 37, Issue 7, pages 1562–1577, July 2007
How to Cite
McAndrew, F. T., Bell, E. K. and Garcia, C. M. (2007), Who Do We Tell and Whom Do We Tell On? Gossip as a Strategy for Status Enhancement. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37: 1562–1577. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00227.x
- Issue published online: 26 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 26 JUN 2007
College students ranked the interest value of 12 different gossip scenarios; likelihood of spreading the gossip; and the people to whom they would be most likely to tell the gossip, depending on whether the gossip was about male or female professors, relatives, friends, acquaintances, strangers, or a same-sex rival or a romantic partner. Damaging, negative news about rivals and positive news about friends and lovers was especially prized and likely to be passed on. Aside from romantic partners, males and females were more interested in information about same-sex others than about opposite-sex others. Overall, men were most likely to confide in their romantic partners, but females were equally likely to share gossip with their lovers and their same-sex friends.