Is gossip power? The inverse relationships between gossip, power, and likability
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Type of Work7 pages
Citation of Original PublicationFarley, S. D. (August 01, 2011). Is gossip power? The inverse relationships between gossip, power, and likability. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 5, 574-579.
Despite widespread conjecture regarding the functions and consequences of gossip, little empirical attention has investigated how gossipers are perceived by others. In the present study, 128 individuals were asked to think about a person who either frequently or rarely discussed others while not in their presence. Gender of the target and valence of the gossip were also manipulated. High-frequency gossipers were perceived as less powerful and were liked less than low-frequency gossipers, and those who gossiped negatively were liked less than those who gossiped positively. High-frequency negative gossipers emerged as the least powerful and least likable targets. These results are discussed in relation to the transfer of attitudes recursively effect.