What’s So Gratifying About Gossip? (NSQ Ep. 58)
Also: why do people hate small talk?
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Relevant Research & References
Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:
- John Stuart Mill (deceased), philosopher.
- Roy Baumeister, professor of psychology at Florida State University.
- Kathleen Vohs, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota.
- Andy Molinsky, professor of psychology at Brandeis University.
- Michele Gelfand, professor of psychology at the University of Maryland.
- Marc Brackett, professor of psychology at Yale University.
- Jessie Sun, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.
- “Alice Waters Says People Who Call Her Elitist Just Don’t Get It,” by David Marchese (The New York Times Magazine, 2021).
- “What Really Happened With the ‘Cutter Incident,’” When a Bad Batch of Polio Vaccine Paralyzed Kids,” by Rebecca Onion (Slate, 2021).
- “Is Well-Being Associated with the Quantity and Quality of Social Interactions?” by J. Sun, K. Harris, and S. Vazire (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2020).
- “The Science Behind Why People Gossip — And When It Can Be a Good Thing,” by Sophia Gottfried (TIME, 2019).
- “Costs and Benefits of Acting Extraverted: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” by R. Jacques-Hamilton, J. Sun, and L. D. Smillie (Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2019).
- “Presidents 2018 Rank by Category,” by the Siena College Research Institute (2019).
- Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World, by Michele Gelfand (2018).
- “How the Finnish Survive Without Small Talk,” by Laura Studarus (BBC, 2018).
- “‘I Bet I Could Get Three Words Out of You.’ ‘You Lose.’” by (Quote Investigator, 2016).
- “Gossip and Ostracism Promote Cooperation in Groups,” by Matthew Feinberg, Robb Willer, and Michael Schultz (Psychological Science, 2014).
- “Against ‘Guilty Pleasure,’” by Jennifer Szalai (The New Yorker, 2013).
- “The Big Challenge of American Small Talk,” by Andy Molinsky (Harvard Business Review, 2013).
- “Which Tabloids Lie the Most?” by Maureen O’Connor (Gawker, 2010).
- “Eavesdropping on Happiness: Well-Being Is Related to Having Less Small Talk and More Substantive Conversations,” by Matthias R. Mehl, Simine Vazire, Shannon E. Holleran, and C. Shelby Clark (Psychological Science, 2010).
- “Gossip in Evolutionary Perspective,” by R. I. M. Dunbar (Review of General Psychology, 2004).
- “Gossip as Cultural Learning,” by Roy F. Baumeister, Liqing Zhang, and Kathleen D. Vohs (Review of General Psychology, 2004).
- Wings, by Terry Pratchett (1990).
- Utilitarianism, by John Stewart Mill (1863).