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Is There a Science of Gossip?

There is actually a science about how gossip spreads. During the 2004 presidential election there were identical rumors about BOTH candidates Bush and Kerry, saying that each of them had misquoted the Bible. But if you're a Democrat, you probably didn't hear the Kerry rumor?and vice-versa. Is there any way to tell if the gossip we hear is true information?

In LiveScience.com, Corey Binns quotes psychologist Nicholas DiFonzo as saying, "The kind of network configuration we're embedded in can either help or hinder us ferret out the facts?[for instance], the anti-Bush rumor would congregate with clusters of Democrats."

This brings up the question of WHY people say nasty things about other people in the first place. Binns quotes psychologist Jennifer Bosson as saying, "When two people share a dislike of another person, it brings them closer."

But there's a science to figuring out if someone is deliberately lying that's called "analog acoustic expression." Basically, it means that your tone of voice gives you away?IF we know how to listen!

University of Chicago scientists have determined that people?s voice tones convey information that is not communicated by their words alone, and that these tones are produced unconsciously. Psychologist Howard Nusbaum says, "Someone will raise his voice slightly at the end of the sentence when saying, 'the stock market is going up' or lower it when saying 'the stock market is going down'." So when you hear gossip, LISTEN CAREFULLY.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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