The whispers are everywhere.
Walk along any office and you’ll hear quiet conversations, the participants’ eyes shifting just in case someone might overhear.
You assume, with good reason, that most of this gossiping is malicious, right?
And do you ever wonder how much time people spend gossiping?
Helpfully, researchers are the University of California, Riverside thought they’d find out.
Their new study offers some remarkable information, some of which runs counter to many assumptions.
The researchers believe that most people view gossipers as “immoral, uneducated, typically female, and of lower social class.”
Instead, what this research discovered — by using recording devices listening in on people’s everyday lives — that men and women gossip around the same amount.
Those who gossiped more often were those the researchers regarded as more extroverted.
Women engaged in more neutral gossip than men, and younger people tended to negatively gossip more than older people.
Women engaged in neutral gossip more often than men, but women and men engaged in positive and negative gossip at very similar rates.
Oddly, though, people are generally less nasty in their gossip than many might assume.
Indeed, around three-quarters of all the gossiping Robbins observed was of the neutral kind.
People just want to connect, talk and share. They’re less keen on being mean about someone else.
This is remarkably hopeful for humanity as a whole and for office life in particular.
Especially when you realize how much time we spend gossiping.
This research suggests the average human spends 52 minutes a day talking to someone about someone else.