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Is Efficiency Overrated?: Minimal Social Interactions Lead to Belonging and Positive Affect

Sandstrom, GM and Dunn, EW (2014) 'Is Efficiency Overrated?: Minimal Social Interactions Lead to Belonging and Positive Affect.' Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5 (4). pp. 437-442. ISSN 1948-5506

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When we buy our daily cup of coffee, sometimes we engage in a social interaction with the barista, and sometimes we are in a rush. Every day we have opportunities to transform potentially impersonal, instrumental exchanges into genuine social interactions, and the happiness literature suggests that we may reap benefits by doing so; in other words, treating a service provider like we would an acquaintance (i.e., weak tie) might make us happier. In the current study, people who had a social interaction with a barista (i.e., smiled, made eye contact, and had a brief conversation) experienced more positive affect than people who were as efficient as possible. Further, we found initial evidence that these effects were mediated by feelings of belonging. These results suggest that, although people are often reluctant to have a genuine social interaction with a stranger, they are happier when they treat a stranger like a weak tie.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social interaction; minimal social interaction; positive affect; belonging; weak tie
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2015 09:43
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2022 01:07

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