Tell Me the Gossip: The Self-Evaluative Function of Receiving Gossip About Others

Elena Martinescu*, Onne Janssen, Bernard A. Nijstad

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

31 Citaten (Scopus)


We investigate the self-evaluative function of competence-related gossip for individuals who receive it. Using the Self-Concept Enhancing Tactician (SCENT) model, we propose that individuals use evaluative information about others (i.e., gossip) to improve, promote, and protect themselves. Results of a critical incident study and an experimental study showed that positive gossip had higher self-improvement value than negative gossip, whereas negative gossip had higher self-promotion value and raised higher self-protection concerns than positive gossip. Self-promotion mediated the relationship between gossip valence and pride, while self-protection mediated the relationship between gossip valence and fear, although the latter mediated relationship emerged for receivers with mastery goals rather than performance goals. These results suggest that gossip serves self-evaluative functions for gossip receivers and triggers self-conscious emotions.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)1668-1680
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftPersonality and social psychology bulletin
Nummer van het tijdschrift12
StatusPublished - dec-2014

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