Does gossip make us less selfish?

Via Science Daily:

In every condition, people acted selfishly to some degree — most people kept more than an equal share for themselves. But when their actions were public and the chance for gossip was high, people became substantially less selfish. When people knew that their selfishness would be on display — and very likely to be talked about — they acted most generously to others.

“When the threat of gossip exists, group members can expect that they will be talked about if they decide to take a free ride” wrote the authors. Gossip can be malicious and harmful to groups, but it can have a positive side — the threat of gossip can increase fairness and hold selfishness in check.

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