Meet the research team of the Force of Gossip project:

BiancaMy research focuses on organizational processes at the micro- and meso-levels of analysis. Specifically, I study the dilemmas between individual and collective interests. For organizations and the individuals and groups that operate within them, finding a balance between own interests, ideas and opinions and those of the larger collective is essential for achieving effective outcomes. I examine the ways in which individuals and groups deal with the challenges and opportunities this creates. As such, my studies focuses on the motivational and contextual factors that drive behavior in settings such as teamwork, negotiation and interpersonal conflict. I examine these factors using laboratory experiments, surveys, and qualitative studies.

I am the chair of the Organizational Behavior Research Group in de Department of Organization Sciences at VU University, Amsterdam. I am the recipient of an NWO VENI Grant and an ERC Consolidator Grant.
TerenceI am broadly interested in human cooperative and uncooperative behavior. Specifically, I am interested in the role of gossip and reputation in forming these behaviors. My research focuses on investigating both selfish and other-regarding motives to engage in gossip as well as how people react to gossip and ascribe motives to gossipers. I am currently involved in conducting experiments involving economic games and an experience sampling study addressing antecedents and consequences of gossip. For more information, visit my personal website.
AnnikaI am interested in behavioral ethics and the role of gossip and reputation therein. One line of research examines the influence of gossip on decisions to cheat. Do people cheat less if they know that another person can gossip about their behavior? Does it matter whether the potential gossip sender benefits from the unethical act or not? And to what extent are people concerned about their reputation when making decisions to act unethically? A second line of research aims to examine how reputation management encourages unethical behavior. For example, if you hear from others through gossip about somebody’s reputation as an unethical person to what extent can this foster finding a partner in crime? I am currently involved in conducting behavioral experiments in which I examine these questions.
ElenaMy research interests include understanding the impact of gossip on employee well-being and performance, and the role of gossip in shaping work-related processes. My previous research outlines important functions of gossip for people who send, receive, and are targeted by gossip.
MartinaMy primary research interest focuses on human cooperation in the context of social dilemmas. In particular, I focus on understanding how exogenous (e.g. group composition, organizational/network structure, information flow) and endogenous (e.g. personality traits) factors improve or deplete cooperation. I have previously worked on decision-making and personality traits, trying to understand how specific personality traits impact cooperation both at the individuals and at the collective level. I employ both experimental design and mathematical models (agent/individual-based models) that describe the human dynamics at both the individuals and the collective level.

RomyMy research focuses on the social psychological aspects of group processes and intergroup relations, in an organizational context. I study the motivational underpinnings and implications of social identity processes, in particular for individuals who are devalued or stereotyped. My research interests and projects revolve around two interrelated themes: 1. Intragroup morality and norm violations; 2. Inter- and intragroup diversity, including gender diversity in academia. I am particularly interested in developing evidence-based interventions to obtain equal gender representation in teams and organisations. In answering these questions, I use different measures and methods (e.g. implicit and explicit measures, psycho-physiological measures, lab experiments, field studies, surveys).
MariaMy research focuses on conflict and conflict management in organizations at the individual and small group level. More specifically I study the antecedents and consequences of taking conflict personally in order to get a better understanding of how to preserve the positive consequences of conflict while avoiding its negative outcomes in terms of individual and organizational performance and well-being. Within this area, the role of gossip in managing conflict at the workplace is a related and very relevant topic I am working on.
OuissamFrom the first beginnings of the 'Force of Gossip' project, I worked closely with all researchers in my job as a research assistant. My responsibility is to help all researchers in every stage of their study in a great variety of ways (e.g. writing data-management plans, preparing questionnaires, data-collecting, etc.). Apart from assisting I am a Masters student in Sociology (VU) and a Research Masters student in Migration, Ethnic Relations and Multiculturalism (UU). As an aspiring researcher, I am interested in how people, especially migrants, cope with conflicting interests. I study conflicts in an interpersonal context, both with ethnic majorities and ethnic minorities. For more information about me, please visit my LinkedIn page.