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Saying Good and Bad Things Behind Someone’s Back or to Their Face: Perceived Source Selflessness and Trust in Information Matter When the Information Is Positive

Cantarero, Katarzyna and Byrka, Katarzyna and Van Tilburg, Wijnand AP and Komorowska, Agnieszka (2019) 'Saying Good and Bad Things Behind Someone’s Back or to Their Face: Perceived Source Selflessness and Trust in Information Matter When the Information Is Positive.' Social Psychological Bulletin, 14 (1). ISSN 1896-1800

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Abstract

This study explores the consequences of gossiping on impression formation as compared to the consequences of direct communication in the presence of the target individual. Specifically, we focus on perceived source selflessness and trust in the information conveyed about the target individual as important factors for impression formation. In an internet-based study, participants (N = 155) evaluated descriptions of target individuals presented as gossip (spoken outside the target individual’s presence), as direct communication (spoken in the presence of the target individual) or without any information about the source. Analyses yielded no significant differences between experimental conditions on the impression of the target individual. However, we found that trust in information mediated the relation between perceived source selflessness and the general impression of the target individual, yet only when the information about the target individual is positive.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2019 13:14
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2019 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25854

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