By nature people tend to believe in gossip other than the truth, a study has shown.
It has found further that gossip played a vital role in people lives for making a decision, noted an evolutionary biologist at the Max Planck Institute who led the study.
It has also shown that gossip has still a strong influence to people despite their access to original information. Hence, it has been noted that gossip has strong manipulative potential to people.
With a series of experiments conducted by researchers through playing games, people reacted by a mere gossip as soon as they receive the information despite no hard evidence to substantiate it when they responded to give less to those who are described as “nasty misers” and give more to those who are portrayed as “generous players”.
Researchers had taken the experiment a step further by showing hard evidence of the actual decision people had made to that information and at the same time supplied false gossip in contradicting that evidence.
The result, people still based their decisions to award the money base on the gossip rather than the hard evidence, thus showing that such information is indeed a powerful tool.
Gossip is define by scientists as a social information spread about a person who is not present.
In evolutionary terms, gossip can be an important tool for people to acquire information about others’ reputation, navigate through social networks at work and get entangled and monitor their daily lives.
An example is using gossip to learn that a certain person had cheated on others, something that can make that person undesirable.