Could Gossip Actually Be Good For You?
A new study finds that receiving gossip encourages people to better themselves, particularly if the juicy news is positive in nature.
Gossip is like a drug. We all seem to understand its negative consequences yet the impulse to spread spicy news can at times feel unconquerable. No one likes being gossiped about but almost everyone likes to gossip.
Despite the negative stigma associated with the practice, a new study published this month in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin may offer some solace to chronic rumormongers. After conducting two experiments (one critical, the other experiential), a team of researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands determined that receiving gossip has self-evaluative benefits. A person who hears positive gossip about another person feels motivated by the news to seek self-improvement. Negative gossip, on the other hand, will makes receivers feel more self-conscious while also boosting their sense of pride.
The study's authors decided that gossip is important as a tool for introspection. Hearing stories about other people provides an opportunity for individuals to assess their own qualities and decisions. These assessments in turn result in personal growth and higher self-esteem. This isn't to say that you should immediately run over to the pub or hair salon in order to spread some dirt about your friends, but perhaps we can all feel a little less guilty about dabbling in a little juicy information from time to time.
Read more at The New Age
And read the study here.
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
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