He did what? Innnnteresting…
Thorough scientific study has revealed that lots of supposed vices can have surprising upsides: alcohol, sex, caffeine. Thanks to UC Berkeley researchers, we can now add another so-bad-but-oh-so-good habit to the list: Gossip, their new study suggests, can be a selfless act of public service.
Surreptitiously passing along the news that someone has behaved badly—what’s technically called “prosocial gossip”—can relieve stress, as well as warn others to regard the rule-breaker with a wary eye, the researchers say. (The study didn’t look directly at other forms of gossip—rumormongering, telling lies, anything said to a confessional cam on reality TV—so make of that what you will.)