It’s a human tendency to judge and give opinions on things. Throughout the evolution process mankind has judged one another and others (including both living and non-living objects) on daily basis. Judging and trying to become better is a constant process. This character has helped us successfully build the society in which we live today. It is the reason why we are able to learn and grasp things. But every coin has a second side. Gossips are one such thing. What makes gossips so different from regular discussion? It is the amount of truth in it. Facts and gossips are often paradoxical.
Believe it or not, gossips can have extensive effects on people subconsciously. In order, to find out more about these effects, distinguished- professor of Psychology, Lisa Feldman-Barrett at Northeastern University, led the study. It revealed that gossips change our visual perception.
It is a known fact that what we see affects our perspective to think about a thing or a person. However, gossips tend to work exactly opposite to this rule. When we hear unflattering or negative things about a person we tend to protect ourselves from him or her by carefully avoiding encounters. At the same time, positive gossips build a positive attitude towards a person. All these happens regardless of the actual behaviour of that person. We have all experienced this. There are times when we regret not talking or approaching someone because of all the talks of ‘he is a male chauvinistic pig’ or ‘she is egoistical’ we heard from our gossip-monger friend.
Subconsciously our mind tends to put the people around us in two categories- good and bad, depending upon what we hear rather than what we see. A wise man had rightly said that the difference between truth and false is of four fingers that fit between our eyes and ears. Professor Feldman-Barrett said that this negative working mechanism of gossips can become useful in translational science to differentiate between friends and foes.