Negative Gossip and Competition for Reputation among Adolescents
Title: Negative Gossip and Competition for Reputation among Adolescents
SNIC Project: SNIC 2020/5-339
Project Type: SNIC Medium Compute
Principal Investigator: Károly Takács <>
Affiliation: Linköpings universitet
Duration: 2020-07-01 – 2021-07-01
Classification: 50401 50403


Adolescence is an important age of development when collective norms emerge, social exclusion often takes place, and competition for reputation is intense. Reputation is important for social orientation in the group and for the individual adjustment to normative expectations. Positive reputations enhance status, while negative reputations might lead to negligence and social exclusion. Reputations are exchanged in informal communication: A typical and widespread form of communication that strongly affects individual reputations is gossip. Gossip can be used strategically to destroy the good standing of others and to improve the relative position of the sender of gossip. For the developed analytical framework, we propose multiple empirical tests in different schools. We utilize dynamic network datasets from primary and secondary school classes to test hypotheses about the role that gossip plays in reputation and cooperation. We use RSiena Bayes that requires high computational complexity to estimate our models.