Humans are social creatures by nature, and it’s within these complex social fabrics that scientists and researchers have discovered some of the most revealing truths about the human experience. One of which was found in a fascinating new study recently published in Psychological Science. The researchers examined the implications of “extraordinary experiences” with regards to how our perception of these experiences changes depending on whether we’re alone or sharing them with others.
The results revealed overwhelming proof that the joy of these extraordinary experiences
was almost completely erased in the test subjects if the experience wasn’t able to be shared
with friends, family, or others.
“This study suggests that the hedonic value we glean from experiences stems not so much from the immediate pleasure they bestow but from the subsequent joy we take in reliving them with others,” writes Daniel Yudkin of Scientific American. “At a broader level, the study also demonstrates the deep social contingency of our understanding of the world. Everything we do and see is interpreted through our interactions with others. This social embeddedness is so complete, in fact, that our company shapes not just our experiences after they have taken place, but also while they’re occurring — a point which is demonstrated vividly in a separate study published in the same issue of Psychological Science. This study, conducted by Erica Boothby, Margaret Clark, and John Bargh, examines the power of ‘shared experience,’ showing that the mere feeling of togetherness is sufficient to amplify the perceived intensity of [various sensations].”
For most people, chances are that the joy of extraordinary experiences is probably highest when shared with a sibling. A recent study discovered that our sibling relationships are the deepest, most important, and longest-lasting relationships of our lives — even more powerful than our relationships with our spouses and children. You can learn more here: “Powerful New Research Uncovers Multidimensional Consequences Of Your Relationship With Your Siblings“.
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