Conventional wisdom dictates that we should not engage in ‘idle chatter’ or gossip, and that being labelled a gossip is something we should avoid at any cost. However, contemporary views of gossip in psychology highlight gossip as an important evolutionary tool; one which holds our social groups together and oils the wheels of social interaction. This talk aims to introduce listeners to psychological research which provides evidence that gossip is a complex communication tool that we may want to keep, and highlight some of the issues encountered when researching such a controversial topic.
Jenny Cole is a senior lecturer in social psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University where she has worked for three years. Her research interests are generally centred around media psychology and communication. Her work includes research on identity, gender and body image in video games, gossip and interpersonal communication, and communication online.
And heads up: this talk is on a Wednesday rather than our usual Thursday, and has changed venue.