High-tech hunt for secrets

Self-reports and even ethnographic observations might largely be biased because of the confidentiality inherent in gossip. We will therefore make an innovative use of newly available communication technologies in order to record and analyze the factual patterns of gossip, and their relation to reputation and cooperation in a small group with clear boundaries. We are planning to select a dormitory and an organizational unit for this purpose. This will include analyzing verbal and non-verbal information, such as a lower tone of voice and a decreased distance between the sender and receiver during a gossip act.