You may have heard about the upcoming thriller directed by Olivia Wilde. don’t worry darling, due to its encouraging reviews. (Released on September 23rd, but premiered at the Venice International Film Festival) [PDF] ) or it might be on your radar for off-camera drama around the cast and crew’s alleged feuds, snubs, bad blood, and matters of the heart (including director Wilde and Starr’s romance). I can’t. style).
I won’t rehash all the details. BuzzFeed News already does, variety, Harper’s BazaarWhen 6 pages All reported rumors. Additionally, several cast and crew have posted their opinions on their own social media channels, fueling gossip.
You may wonder what the truth behind these rumors is, but the media frenzy may leave you wondering. What’s the psychology behind our cultural obsession with gossip? Here’s what two psychologists have to say.
What exactly is gossip?
Gossip is so central to our cultural psyche that the American Psychological Association (APA) has its own definition. According to the APA dictionary, gossip consists of communication of personal stories and information that is often unsubstantiated and may be scandalous or intentionally malicious. is (not necessarily). According to the APA, gossip influences group bonding and has a significant impact on the transmission and reinforcement of cultural norms.
“Some people try to categorize gossip as negative or critical discussion about other people, but in reality gossip is simply sharing social information with each other,” Lawrenceville. Any time you talk about someone not attending, it’s gossip, says Dr. Ludden.
In a study published in April 2019 in the journal Social and Psychological Personality Science, researchers set out to understand what people were gossiping about. They found that among a group of 467 participants, about three-quarters of the gossip people shared was neutral, fairly boring, and neither positive nor negative.
Stephen Benning, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, said gossip often refers to information about other people that is shared, and that people whose information is kept secret are rather It says it’s kept secret.
Why are we attracted to gossip?
“Gossip is very useful because we are social animals and need to know what is going on in our social environment,” explains the psychology of language and how language is influenced by the social world. says Luden, who studies how it is shaped and shaped.
He gives the example of asking colleagues how their meetings with their bosses went in order to get a sense of their mood and decide whether to make a request. Basically, gossip helps you enter the social arena in preparation for what’s to come. “Other people tell me about meeting that person, so I don’t have to meet them in person to find out what they’re like,” Luden says.
It is also a tool for building relationships. “Sharing gossip can bring people together socially,” says Dr. Benning. “It provides a currency of personal information that creates a shared sense of the community that holds that information.”
We are also drawn to gossip for no great reason. “Sharing ‘cheeky gossip’ (information that hurts or demeans the person being talked about) is also a form of relational aggression because it affects people’s social status and their social status in their networks. Because it attacks status,” Benning says. People may participate in this kind of gossip as a way to increase their social standing, or participate in social networks where they were not previously.
“A lot of bad gossip is done to make you feel better than the person you’re talking to,” Ludden says. “That’s not a healthy approach to building self-esteem.”
A study published in the journal May 2019 the forefront of psychology Validate all this. Researchers identified six different motives for gossiping, including information gathering and verification, relationship building, self-protection, social enjoyment, and negative impact. Negative influence (speaking ill of or putting someone down) is a clear motive for some people, but this study found that this is actually the weakest motive leading to gossiping. rice field. Information gathering and verification of the rumored person was the strongest.
There is also some evidence to suggest that negative gossip can positively influence social groups and promote cooperation (though perhaps not in the most altruistic way).
in an article published in a magazine psychologyresearchers found that when people pass on reputational information about others (the researchers’ definition of “gossip”), others interact with people portrayed as cooperative, and others portrayed as selfish. As a result, the outcasts tended to change their behavior and behave more cooperatively.
It’s very easy to tell if you’re gossiping harmlessly or harmfully, says a psychotherapist based in Overland Park, Kansas. stuck scienceAsk yourself how it would feel if the person you were talking to overheard your conversation. Do you feel safe when others talk about you in the same way? Sharing information has positive benefits for you and your listeners, such as increasing empathy or imparting important knowledge. If you answered “no” to either or both questions, gossip is probably the negative type.
Why we love gossiping about celebrities as much (or more) than anyone we know
According to these definitions, we might conclude that gossip (as psychologists do) plays a role in how we interact with others. So what motivates us to gossip about unsociable (and probably never social) A-listers?
Just because you haven’t met these celebrities doesn’t mean you can’t relate to them. For example, according to the National Register of Health Services Psychologists, you may feel a kinship with the singers and athletes who have followed and celebrated their successes.
Like gossip itself, these relationships can be healthy or unhealthy depending on the circumstances. Parasocial bonds can bridge gaps in real-world relationships. It’s a risk-free way to feel connected to others, says Ludden, because you won’t be rejected by someone you don’t actually relate to.
But if these relationships dominate your life—for example, if you invest too much in your relationships with certain celebrities and celebrities and don’t build real social relationships with the people around you—that’s It’s bad.
Gossiping about these celebrities is an equally low-risk way to feel connected, as the information you’re sharing poses no risk to you or members of your social circle. “Sharing information about the world can feel uncomfortable and vulnerable,” says Frank. “Gossiping about celebrities is a safer way to go on dates, join groups at parties, and feel like part of a new team at work.
It can also serve as a form of stress relief. “When life is overwhelming, focusing on celebrity gossip can be a way to numb feelings of frustration, unhappiness, or stress,” says Frank. Then we are in a state of dissociation and can take a break from difficult emotions.”
However, as with regular gossip, the motivation behind celebrity gossip is to make oneself feel better than others. ) is a safe way to enjoy,” says Frank. “It is less shameful to admit that you enjoy watching the misfortunes of famous people than to admit that you enjoy watching the misfortunes of family and friends.”
While it’s probably relatively harmless to talk to your friends about a recent celebrity breakup, you can overdo things and do real harm to your celebrity without actually meeting them.
“Using social media channels to pile up celebrities tagged in posts during a time of heightened gossip can do real emotional damage to those celebrities,” Benning says. . As is the case with people within your own circle, put yourself in that celebrity’s shoes (as impossible as it may seem) and how would you react if this kind of information and comments were circulating about you? It may be helpful to ask how you feel. Suggest.