Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Randy Young

Degree Award Date

Fall 2002


Storytelling, Romantic Couples, Gossip, Relationship Satisfaction


Human Factors Psychology | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology | Social Psychology


Gossip is a social mechanism for pointing out behaviors that deviate from accepted norms. Romantically involved couples gossiped about their respective male and female closest friends. We predicted that highly satisfied couples would engage in more face threatening gossip than less satisfied couples due to the security of their relationship. Gender differences regarding the emotions that are present while gossiping, as well as variations in gossip due to differences in personality, will be examined. The results verified the first hypothesis and showed that the more satisfied a couple was the more face threatening the nature of their gossip. The results also showed that women are more emotionally affected by gossip than their male counterparts and that personality differences do account for some variations in gossip. By examining the nature of gossip, the various variables concerning the quality and strength of a relationship can be more adequately understood.