From: The New York Times

When You Shouldn’t Bring a Friend

The New York Times:

Misery may love company, but new research suggests a corollary to that adage: Sometimes, having company could make misery even worse.

For a paper published in the journal Psychological Science, Erica J. Boothby and her co-authors asked 23 female undergraduates to taste chocolate (“pretested to be pleasant tasting”) in the company of another person who was secretly working with the study authors. That person tasted one piece of chocolate along with them, and looked at a book of paintings while the participant tasted another piece. The undercover researcher didn’t talk to the participants about either task. Afterward, the participants rated both pieces of chocolate.

“There is evidence from other research that during conversations people can impact one another (via persuasion, conformity, and social influence),” Ms. Boothby told Op-Talk in an email. Her team wanted “to find out how merely doing the same activity at the same time as someone else, without communicating, would impact people’s experiences.”

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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