In Britain, occupational psychologists interviewed 100 nurses and found that
some spent up to four hours a day gossiping. But that's not the main finding.
Rather, the psychologists concluded certain forms of gossip can be good for
"Gossiping can be seen as trivial, but it is very therapeutic and makes
people feel better," said a co-author of the study, Kathryn Waddington
of the School of Nursing at London's City University.
Waddington told employers at an annual conference of occupational psychologists
that gossip could help them to become more creative.
"Gossip is often viewed with suspicion by employers, but it could potentially
have positive benefits for them and their staff in stressful professions such
as nursing," she said. "We have found gossip to be frequently used
by nurses as an immediate means of expressing emotions and opinions and as such
employers in the health sector might wish to view gossip in a different way."
Not all gossip is good, though, the study said, warning that so-called negative
gossiping could be bad for morale if it involved spreading malicious or false
Women were more honest than men about their gossiping, the study revealed,
while men often described it as de-briefing or networking.
Agence France Presse, via Yahoo!