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Gossiping may have mental benefits.

Passing along information about other peoples bad behavior may have mental benefits, suggests a study published online Jan. 9, 2012 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. In hundreds of experiments, researchers found that heart rates and frustration levels rose when participants witnessed someone acting in untrustworthy ways while engaged in an economic exercise based on trust. However, when participants were able to warn others by passing along a "gossip note" about the bad behavior, frustration disappeared and heart rates normalized. The findings related to "prosocial" gossip motivated by the urge to help others, and not malicious gossip, which is designed to damage another person's reputation or benefit the gossiper in some way.


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Title Annotation:NEWSBRIEFS
Publication:Mind, Mood & Memory
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2012
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