Gossipers Should Have Lower Health Insurance Rates

According to Linda Wasmer Andrews’ Yahoo! Health article, “How gossip is good for you,” some gossip is good for your health.  Researchers from Berkeley’s University of California found that gossip helps ease frustration as well as lessening the increased heart rate that goes hand in hand with your frustration.  Maybe you can lower your health insurance rates if you can prove to your insurance company that you are a big gossip!  Prosocial gossip, or that which helps others avoid a bad circumstance by letting them know about someone’s bad behaviors, is what was researched.

One of the studies involved volunteers watching people playing a game, including someone who was cheating at the game.  As the volunteers watched, their heart rates increased watching the cheating.  But those volunteers who passed notes to the other participants letting them in on the cheating did not have the increased heart rate associated with the frustrations.  The study seems to show that letting someone know that their potential mate has been a cheater or that their potential business contact has a shady past can help your health as well as helping them avoid a conflict.

Studies have shown that gossip is both natural and normal.  Group behavior can be enhanced with a little gossip and people tend to behave a little better when the potential for gossip is there.  While there is some gossip that is just plain selfish and can be hurtful, “good” gossip can help groups build alliances and keep group members’ behavior in check.  While it’s unlikely that Aultcare or other health insurance companies will start promoting gossip for it’s health benefits, ads promoting gossip would likely be a good way to garner attention.


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