In this study, researches of Northeastern University in Boston concluded that when one person gossips about another person, the listener will literally see that person as more evil. When they hear about bad things someone else has done (true or not), they associate that person's face with what they hear. So the next time they see the person's face, their mind contorts it into appearing more evil. The researchers believe humans developed this because of the need to avoid a person that could possibly put our lives in danger. Most likely, it isn't necessary, but in the past it probably was. They concluded that it is very important that people don't gossip just for the sake of it, because it then effects how people see that person, and in turn, act towards them.
So since humans aren't consciously aware that they do this, and they even do it without trying or even wanting to do it, it has to be hardwired somewhere in the brain.
So I can't help but think what all the celebrity gossip does to our society. Not that everyday people have to talk with celebrities often, but in cases like politics, how people see and act towards them does matter. So has our society become numb to gossip? Or does it still effect us as strongly as the researchers believe? I believe we are still effected by the gossip, and it does make us see people in a negative light. But I don't think it's all that strong of an effect. And gossip almost seems natural. The majority of people I know gossip all the time, and it doesn't seem to ruin their opinions of those people. Personally, I don't even pay attention to a lot of it. So, I think their study does have some merit. But I also think that it isn't as serious of an effect as they say.