How the grapevine keeps you in line: Gossip increases contributions to the group

  • Beersma B
  • Van Kleef G
  • 94

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 46

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Gossip is often characterized as bad and immoral. The authors challenge this view and propose that gossip constrains self-serving behavior that harms the group. When people expect their group members to gossip and their decisions are identifiable, they will be concerned about group members' opinions, and this should lead them to contribute more resources to the group. When people believe their group members are unlikely to gossip, identifiability of decisions should have less impact on group opinion concerns and contributions to the group. Participants were led to believe that their fellow group members had a low or high tendency to gossip, and that their contribution to the group was identifiable by the group or not. Results confirmed our hypotheses, demonstrating that gossip is a powerful tool to control self-serving behavior in groups. Indeed, the grapevine keeps group members in line. Although mostly viewed negatively, gossip may be essential for groups' survival.

Author-supplied keywords

  • contributions to group
  • dictator game
  • gossip

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free