Student Research Projects

Gossip Tendencies and Effects on Social Interactions

Student Jillian Weston
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Psychology
Course PSY 480: Original Research Project


The basic idea of my study is to see if gossip is a function of cultural learning and social comparison.I am trying to see if gossip reminds groups of social norms and if people use gossip as a way of comparing themselves to others to improve their own status or self. By trying to improve, one can learn how to behave or interact in social groups. I am hypothesizing that one is less likely to do something negative if someone else was gossiped about doing the same negative action. I am also predicting a higher interest in negative gossip and there is less of an interest in passing along negative info about a friend than a stranger. There will be more interest in passing along negative info about a stranger than a friend.