The Role of Female Intrasexual Competition in Reading and Recalling Gossip

York, Ashley A. (2013). The Role of Female Intrasexual Competition in Reading and Recalling Gossip Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author York, Ashley A.
Thesis Title The Role of Female Intrasexual Competition in Reading and Recalling Gossip
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Shelli Dubbs
Total pages 70
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Previous literature has shown that, when competing for a quality mate, intrasexual competition between women is markedly different to that of men. Gossip is one form of indirect aggression that women use to compete, with the intention to devalue a rival woman. In current society, printed and electronic media propagate this competitive tool with magazines devoted solely to gossip. The current study aimed to investigate individual differences in gossip reading and recall, as a function of intrasexual competitiveness (ISC). It was predicted that higher scores on intrasexual competition scales would be associated with a higher tendency to read celebrity gossip magazines; higher desire to read mating-relevant magazine articles; and enhanced recall for information presented in a gossip article. Results indicated beyond tendency to read magazines, higher propensity to gossip was associated with greater desire to read gossip in general, yet higher ISC predicted desire to read mating-relevant information only. Being higher on ISC did not predict enhanced recall for mating-relevant information in the gossip article. This study delineates neutral and mating-relevant gossip forms, and shows that intrasexual competitiveness and propensity to gossip are functionally distinct constructs, with propensity to gossip reflecting a general interest in obtaining information, and ISC reflecting a desire to obtain mating-relevant gossip information only. The findings suggest that those higher on intrasexual competition tend towards an offensive approach to rivals, such that they display a particular desire for gossip information, even for subjects to whom they are not in physical proximity. These findings can extend knowledge in the treatment of bullying, by identifying the most likely perpetrators.
Keyword Female intrasexual competition
reading and recalling

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Created: Thu, 03 Jul 2014, 10:42:10 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology