Gossip is Good – level 3
Those who feel a little guilty about gossiping may be pleased to know that academics have now said that it is actually what sets our species apart from animals.
Gossip is what makes people human, because it allows us to pass on vital information on who to trust and who not to trust, as well as bond with family and friends.
In evolutionary biology, scientists call the phenomenon gossip theory. The theory suggests that as language developed, it allowed early humans to pass on reliable information so that they could live in ever-increasing groups. Gossiping used to be simply what people did with their friends and was not used in a negative sense until the 18th century.
Scientists carried out experiments to find out what people thought about gossips, and the results were that while people distrust those who gossip too much, they were also wary of those who gossip too little.
Professor Robin Dunbar at Oxford University even said that we should accept gossiping as a vital part of human life, which might even help us live longer. He said that the most important thing apart from not smoking that will prevent you from dying early is the size of your social network.
Difficult words: academics (researchers and professors), vital (important), phenomenon (an event), wary (to be careful about a possible danger), prevent (to keep from happening).
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Do you like to gossip?
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