Gossip and counselling: The tendency to gossip and its relation to vocational interests

Ofra Nevo, Baruch Nevo, Anat Derech Zehavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we attempted to treat gossip as a psychological disposition related to vocational interests, using a newly developed instrument, the Tendency to Gossip Questionnaire (TGQ). One hundred and twenty Israeli students (58 females, 62 males) at the Haifa Technion and the University of Haifa were administered the TGQ together with the Social Desirability Scale and the Ramak-Vocational Interests Questionnaire. We found that: (a) women tended to report that they gossiped more than men did, but this difference was confined to one specific content area of gossip only; and (b) interest in people-oriented professions was related to the tendency to gossip even when social desirability and gender were controlled for statistically. The last finding supports the ‘spillover’ hypothesis (Staines, 1980) on the relationship between vocational and avocational interests. The positive relationship between the tendency to gossip and an interest in people-oriented professions might mean that both derive from the same basic needs. We suggest that counselling and psychotherapy can be regarded as sublimated forms of gossip. It is our hope that the TGQ may be of help in expanding our knowledge about the relationship between the tendency to gossip and other psychological dispositions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-238
Number of pages10
JournalCounselling Psychology Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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