Posts tagged with "Social"

Study: Everyone has ‘loose lips’

May 13, 2019

Gossip is the standard currency of human connection—a form of interchange accepted, used, and sought worldwide. And it’s the rare person who doesn’t exchange in personal small talk nearly every day. In fact, a study conducted recently at the University of California–Riverside has found that most people spend about 52 minutes per day, on average, talking to someone about someone else who is not present.

And surprisingly enough, the researchers claim that it’s the first-ever study to dig deep into who gossips the most and what topics they gossip about.

“There is a surprising dearth of information about who gossips and how, given public interest and opinion on the subject,” said Megan Robbins, an assistant psychology professor who led the study along with Alexander Karan, a graduate student in her lab.

But the researches started their study with one assumption: If you’re going to look at gossip like an academic, remove the value judgment we assign to the word. Gossip, in the academic’s view, is not bad. It’s simply talking about someone who isn’t present. That talk could be positive, neutral, or negative.

“With that definition, it would be hard to think of a person who never gossips because that would mean the only time they mention someone is in their presence,” Robbins said. “They could never talk about a celebrity unless the celebrity was present for the conversation; they would only mention any detail about anyone else if they are present. “Not only would this be difficult, but it would probably seem strange to people they interact with.”

During the course of their research, Robbins and Karan looked at data from 467 people between the ages of 18 and 58—269 women, 198 men—who participated in one of five studies.

Participants wore a portable listening device that Robbins employs in her research called the Electronically Activated Recorder, or EAR. The EAR samples what people say throughout the day: About 10% of their conversation is recorded; then analyzed, by research assistants.

The research assistants counted conversation as gossip if it was about someone not present. In all, there were 4,003 instances of gossip, sorted into three categories: positive, negative, or neutral. The assistants further coded the gossip depending on whether it was about a celebrity or acquaintance; the topic; and the gender of the conversation partner.

Among the results:

  • Younger people engage in more negative gossip than older adults. There was no correlation with overall frequency of gossip when all three categories were combined.
  • About 14% of participants’ conversations were categorized as gossip—or just under an hour out of 16 waking hours.
  • Almost 75% of gossip was neutral. Negative gossip (604 instances) was twice as prevalent as positive (376).
  • Gossip overwhelmingly was about an acquaintance and not a celebrity, with a comparison of 3,292 samples vs. 369.
  • Extraverts gossiped far more frequently than introverts, across all three types of gossip
  • Women gossiped more than men— but only in terms of neutral, information-sharing, gossip.
  • Poorer, less education people don’t gossip more than wealthier, better-educated people.

A final result? Everyone gossips. “Gossip is ubiquitous,” the study concludes.

Think about your own conversations with a family member or friend: You talk about everyday things that keep you connected. You share that your daughter got her driver’s license or your uncle has a kidney stone.

“Much of it is just documenting facts, sharing information,” the researchers conclude.

The paper, “Who Gossips and How Often in Everyday Life,” was published online on May 2 in the journal, Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Research contact: megan.robbins@ucr.edu

A place in the sun: Naples, Florida, metro area tops U.S. in well-being for fourth year straight

April 19, 2019

There’s no place like home, especially if you live in Naples, Florida. For the fourth straight year, the Sunshine State’s Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metro area has rated tops for “well-being” out of 156 communities nationwide, based on data collected in 2017 and 2018 as part of the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index.

With a total well-being index score of 65.7, Naples is the ne plus ultra; followed by Salinas, California (64.5) ; Boulder, Colorado (64.5); Santa Rosa, California (64.2); and Ann Arbor, Michigan (also at 54.2).

Rounding out the top ten are Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida (63.8), Fort Collins, Colorado (63.8); Lancaster, Pennsylvania (63.7); North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida (63.6); and Ashville, North Carolina (63.6).

The Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible well-being and 100 represents the highest. The score for each metro area is based on how it stocks up within each of the five essential elements of wellbeing:

  • Career: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals;
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life;
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security;
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community; and
  • Physical: Enjoying good health and enough energy to get things done daily.

In most cases, a difference of 1.0 to 2.0 points in the Well-Being Index score of any two areas represents a statistically significant gap and consists of meaningful differences in at least some of the five elements of well-being. Each city reported is represented as the broader metropolitan statistical area, as defined by the federal government.

The Well-Being Index score for the Naples metro area, though remaining the highest nationwide, has slipped from 67.6 for 2016-2017 to 65.7 in 2017-2018, a drop that parallels a significant two-year decline in wellbeing nationally.

Each of the top five cities for 2017-2018 has frequented the list of the top 15 well-being cities numerous times in prior years.

Highlights for top-ranking cities in specific areas of well-being in 2017-2018 include:

  • Boulder, a longtime pacesetter nationally in physical well-being, was the top U.S. city for the second year in a row for this element. The state of California provided the second- and third-ranked metros: Salinas and Santa Rosa.
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas, topped the nation in career well-being, marking the fourth year in a row that the city has been among the highest five nationally.
  • Naples residents have the highest social well-being, edging out Montgomery, Alabama and fellow Floridian city, Ocala.
  • After Naples, the top metro areas in financial well-being are Ann Arbor, Michigan; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California.
  • Community well-being is highest in the Naples, Asheville, and Fort Collins (Colorado)metros

On the other end of the spectrum, the Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula metro—which garnered the third-lowest ranking in 2016-2017—had the lowest overall well-being nationally for the first time in 2017-2018; supplanting Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma and Canton-Massillon, Ohio, neither of which reached the minimum number of completed surveys required for reporting this period.

Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, Pennsylvania came in second lowest, its lowest rank ever measured; followed by Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania. The South Bend, Indiana-Michigan metro was among the lowest 15 cities for the second straight year.

The Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula metro was among the lowest three areas for career, financial and physical wellbeing, while Tulsa (social and physical) and Rockford (community and physical) were each among the lowest three in two areas of wellbeing. New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama joined Gulfport with the lowest financial wellbeing.

Learn more about where your area fall on the list by consulting the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index .

Research contact: @Gallup