So this is why we do what we do! LOLz!
A study from the University of California, Berkeley has found that gossiping can LOWER stress, prevent exploitation others, and encourage policing the behavior of others.
Researcher Robb Willer, a social psychologist at the university, said in a statement:
"Spreading information about the person whom they had seen behave badly tended to make people feel better, quieting the frustration that drove their gossip."
To come to this conclusion, researchers used 4 experiments which included a game with a cheater who hoarded points.
The heart rates of those who weren't cheating increased when they witnessed the bad behavior, but then their heart rates relaxed when they shared what they had seen. In the experiment, gossip was used as a means to prevent the exploitation of others by warning participants that they could be taken advantage of.
In fact, the fourth experiment in the study demonstrated "that prosocial gossip can effectively deter selfishness and promote cooperation."
Ya hear that? PerezHilton.com is deterring selfishness and promoting worldwide cooperation! Ha!
[Image via WENN.]