London: Those who can't resist the temptation to gossip about others risk their careers and friendships. A study has suggested that though people enjoy gossip, they do not trust gossipers.

Researchers at the University of Baltimore in the US asked women to think of people they knew who did and did not indulge in "informal communication" and rate them.

It was found that gossipers are seen as weak people who are not to be trusted or respected and who have no influence over others, daily reported.

According to psychologists, persistent gossips are unpopular and unlikely to have any social influence at work. Those who indulge in negative gossip are the least popular of all.

While people do listen to gossip, they do not necessarily trust those who constantly indulge in it, said psychologist Sally Farley, who led the research.

Farley added: "Perhaps high gossipers are individuals who we welcome into our social networks for fear of losing the opportunity to learn information, but we tend to keep them at arm's length."

Scientists at the University of Michigan, US, however, have found that women are happier and healthier if they gossip a lot with their friends as it boosts levels of progesterone, a hormone shown to reduce levels of anxiety and stress.