Gossip is powerful and pervasive, and its real target is other people's reputations. Just as actors do, each of us lives a life on the stage and another life behind the scenes. Discovering what goes on offstage in others' lives without revealing anything about ourselves can be an amusing and ruthless game, and this game is the focus of this book. Is it true that women engage in gossip to a greater degree than men? How truthful is gossip? Actually, both gossip and reputation play important roles in strengthening social ties, making reality predictable, and promoting cooperative behaviour.
Nicoletta Cavazza teaches Social Psychology and Psychology of Persuasion at the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia.