Student Research Projects

Gossip as a Multifaceted Construct: Development of a New Gossip Questionnaire

Student Eileen de la Cruz
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Psychology


This pilot study was intended to develop and empirically test a survey assessing participants’ attitudes toward different types of gossip, gossipers, and contents of gossip and evaluate whether or not gossip can be viewed positively. Forty-nine Virginia Wesleyan College students completed the 56-item survey. Respondents stated their level of agreement with 49 gossip-related statements using a 5-point Likert-type scale and also answered 4 open-ended questions about their attitudes and experiences with gossip. It was predicted that gossip would be viewed as having several dimensions. Using an exploratory factor analysis, one particularly significant factor emerged along with 13 lesser yet significant factors. Further studies will determine the empirical strength of these findings.


Eileen de la Cruz, "Gossip and the Underlying Motivation for Engaging in its Practice" - Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, 2007 Undergraduate Science Summer Research Program, $2500.


Eileen De La Cruz and Craig Jackson. 2007. Development of a New Gossip Questionnaire. Tidewater Chapter of Sigma Xi, 9th annual meeting and student poster session, Nov. 2007.

Eileen De LaCruz. 2008. Gossip as a Multifaceted Construct: Development of a New Gossip Questionnaire. Virginia Psychological Association, April 2008, Charlottesville, VA.