Apr 9, 2009 | 4
CHICAGO--Think a little gossip is harmless? Beware: new research says gossiping can be a form of warfare in which information is used as a weapon that could potentially damage a competitor's reputation. An effective defense, according to the study released here last week at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists: friends.
Study author Nicole Hess, an evolutionary psychologist at Washington State University in Vancouver, says she instructed 500 subjects to imagine that they were competing for a promotion within a corporation. She then had them read a list of positive and negative statements, or “gossip,” about their rival for the promotion, and asked them how likely they would be to relay each tidbit to others in the office.
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