Recently the New York Times (August 16, 2005, pp. F1, 6) ran an interesting article on gossip, a topic that we in communication talk about a bit but that we've left for others to research. It's a fascinating area. Among the findings reported from a new study of undergraduate students who were asked to recall the most interesting gossip they heard recently are that 85% of this gossip was about a friend or acquaintance; only 1% was about family (11% was about strangers and 4% was about celebrities). When asked if they passed this gossip on to others, 83 percent said they had. Perhaps the most interesting finding was that 64 percent of the students felt they learend something they could apply to their own lives--supporting the idea that one of the main functions of gossip is to teach. BTW, you should have access to this article from your college library or through Research Navigator.


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