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I think this book deserves a poor reputation! While it starts off with an interesting premise, it devolves into a boing compendium of obscure research results. It just lists one study after another, what was studied and what was found, and then somehow this is supposed to reveal the complexities of "reputation." One study is on macaws, another on 16 months old children, another about apes, etc. I'm not even sure how the behavior of macaws (without language) reveals much about human behavior (using language, esp. as in "people will talk."). If you understand research studies, they are usually very specific, small sampled, artificial lab conditions with undergraduate college students, which are then miraculously transformed into "deep" generalizations about the entire human race.
"People Will Talk" is all trees no forest. Skip it.
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