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After three years of research, Indiana University sociologist Donna Eder has identified an important dynamic involved in gossip. Eder discovered that the initial negative statement was not the starting point for gossip. The critical turning point was found in the response to the initial negative statement. "She’s a real snob" is not the start of gossip. It’s when someone else agrees that the gossip fest begins. Eder found that the key is whether or not a negative statement is "seconded." If a second is provided, gossip has begun.

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