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Is efficiency overrated? Minimal social interactions lead to belonging and positive affect

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Is efficiency overrated? Minimal social interactions lead to belonging and positive affect

Personality and Social
Psychology Bulletin
2014, Vol. 40(7) 910 –922
© 2014 by the Society for Personality
and Social Psychology, Inc
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DOI: 10.1177/0146167214529799
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Article
Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good
fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur
every day.
—Benjamin Franklin
Imagine a day that begins by greeting your regular barista at
the local coffee shop. You get to work and run into a col-
league who you have not seen for a while, and chat about
your weekend. After work, you head to yoga class where you
exchange pleasantries with the girl whose hair is always a
different color. Walking home afterward, you stop to chat
with the guy you always see walking the pug named Wilbur.
None of these people play an important role in your life, and
yet a day without these kinds of interactions seems a little
emptier. Past research has shown that social interactions and
positive affect are mutually reinforcing, but no research has
specifically examined whether interactions with these “weak
ties” might be associated with positive outcomes. Are inter-
actions with the coffee barista, work colleague, yoga class-
mate, and dog owner part of the “little advantages that occur
every day,” which Benjamin Franklin saw as central to
human felicity? More precisely, can these interactions con-
tribute meaningfully to our happiness, or are they inconse-
quential compared to interactions with our close friends and
family?
Evidence suggests that weak ties such as these—relation-
ships involving less frequent contact, low emotional inten-
sity, and limited intimacy—confer some important benefits.
In his seminal article, Granovetter (1973) showed that weak
ties are important for diffusion of information (such as news,
innovations, job openings) across a social network; informa-
tion remains within isolated clusters of strong ties (i.e., close
friends and family) without weak ties to bridge between
them. By providing access to a breadth of perspectives and
non-redundant information, weak ties have also been linked
to greater creativity (Perry-Smith, 2006). The present
research examines another possible advantage of weak ties—
we test whether social interactions with weak ties are related
to subjective well-being and belonging.
Although little work has examined the association
between weak tie interactions and well-being, numerous
studies have documented the association between positive
affect and socializing, more generally. People report more
positive affect when they are engaged in social rather than
non-social activities (Pavot, Diener, & Fujita, 1990). When
people recall events that occurred earlier in the day (or on the
preceding day), they report more positive affect on days
when they recall participating in social events (Clark &
Watson, 1988; Vittengl & Holt, 1998b; Watson, Clark,
McIntyre, & Hamaker, 1992), and on days when they recall
feeling more connected to others (Reis, Sheldon, Gable,
Roscoe, & Ryan, 2000). Furthermore, people recall having
529799PSPXXX10.1177/0146167214529799Personality and Social Psychology BulletinSandstrom and Dunn
research-article2014
1University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Corresponding Author:
Gillian M. Sandstrom, Department of Psychology (New Museums Site),
University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RQ, UK.
Email: gs488@cam.ac.uk
Social Interactions and Well-Being: The
Surprising Power of Weak Ties
Gillian M. Sandstrom1 and Elizabeth W. Dunn1
Abstract
Although we interact with a wide network of people on a daily basis, the social psychology literature has primarily focused
on interactions with close friends and family. The present research tested whether subjective well-being is related not only
to interactions with these strong ties but also to interactions with weak social ties (i.e., acquaintances). In Study 1, students
experienced greater happiness and greater feelings of belonging on days when they interacted with more classmates than usual.
Broadening the scope in Studies 2A and 2B to include all daily interactions (with both strong and weak ties), we again found
that weak ties are related to social and emotional well-being. The current results highlight the power of weak ties, suggesting
that even social interactions with the more peripheral members of our social networks contribute to our well-being.
Keywords
weak ties, subjective well-being, social relationships, social interactions, belonging
Received July 31, 2013; revision accepted March 8, 2014
Sandstrom and Dunn 911
experienced greater enjoyment during socializing than dur-
ing most other activities (Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade,
Schwarz, & Stone, 2004; Krueger, Kahneman, Schkade,
Schwarz, & Stone, 2009).
By asking people to remember their recent interactions,
these past studies may have inadvertently captured predomi-
nantly strong tie interactions, and may under-represent weak
tie interactions. When people are asked to list the names of
all of their friends and acquaintances, they tend to remember
close friends and people with whom they have more frequent
contact (Fu, 2005). Also, when asked to report how much
time they spent with others, people are more accurate when
reporting time spent with friends compared to time spent
with non-friends (Eagle, Pentland, & Lazer, 2009). Thus, ret-
rospective methods may be less likely to capture interactions
with weak ties.
This limitation is compounded by the fact that few past
studies have asked participants to report the closeness of
their interaction partners. In one study, participants did rate
the closeness of their interaction partners, but none of the
analyses were broken down by this factor, despite the fact
that 21% of reported interactions were with weak tie partners
(Berry & Hansen, 1996). Therefore, whether interactions
with acquaintances contribute to subjective well-being
remains an empirical question.
In sum, due to a reliance on recall and the lack of distinc-
tion based on closeness, it is possible that the positive effects
of social interactions found in previous studies were driven
largely by strong ties. Both theoretically and empirically,
there is evidence to suggest that social interactions with close
others should bring the greatest rewards. Theoretically
speaking, Baumeister and Leary (1995) proposed that
humans have a need to belong, and suffer negative conse-
quences to their health and well-being when they lack fre-
quent interactions with close others. Empirically speaking, in
studies of daily interactions, people report more positive
affect following interactions with more familiar partners
(Vittengl & Holt, 1998a), and people report being less lonely
when they have more intimate interactions (Wheeler, Reis, &
Nezlek, 1983). Furthermore, people who have more mean-
ingful conversations report greater happiness (Mehl, Vazire,
Holleran, & Clark, 2010; Reis, Sheldon, et al., 2000) and a
greater sense of relatedness (Reis, Sheldon, et al., 2000).
Although the original conception of the need to belong
highlighted the essential role played by strong ties, more
recent research suggests that a wider range of relationships
may contribute to fulfilling the need to belong. Indeed, peo-
ple feel a greater sense of belonging, as well as increased
positive affect, after simply having a social interaction with
the barista at a coffee shop (Sandstrom & Dunn, 2013a).
Also, people feel more socially connected when a passerby
makes eye contact instead of looking past them (Wesselmann,
Cardoso, Slater, & Williams, 2012). Thus, we hypothesized
that daily interactions with weak ties would be associated
with greater social and emotional well-being.
Current Research
Past research has shown that people are happier on days
when they socialize more, but no research has directly
assessed whether interactions with weak ties are associated
with positive outcomes. We predicted that people would
experience greater well-being and belonging on days when
they interact with more weak ties. In Study 1, we focused on
the classroom context, examining students’ daily interactions
with classmates. We broadened the context in Study 2, ask-
ing students (Study 2A) and community members (Study
2B) to track all of their daily interactions.
Study 1: Classroom Interactions
Method
Participants. In total, 242 undergraduate students (82 males,
160 females; Mage = 19.07, SDage = 1.78) were recruited from
eight classes with large enrollments (M = 260) at the Univer-
sity of British Columbia. Three additional students were
excluded from analyses because they responded to fewer
than three text messages, which is the practical minimum for
within-person analyses in hierarchical linear modeling
(HLM). Students participated in exchange for money or
course credit and also received entries into a draw for each
daily report.
Procedure. In the first few weeks of the semester, participants
completed measures of personality, subjective well-being,
and belonging, and reported demographic details.1
On six different occasions, students were asked questions
via text message right after their class ended. The EZTexting.
com service was used to schedule and send the text
messages.
At the end of the semester, as they entered the classroom,
students received a questionnaire, asking them to list every-
one that they knew in class and to classify each of these peo-
ple as a strong tie or a weak tie. At the end of the class,
students returned the questionnaires and were debriefed.
Measures
Personality. Past research has linked well-being to all five
of the Big-Five personality traits (DeNeve & Cooper, 1998;
McCrae & Costa, 1991; Weiss, Bates, & Luciano, 2008).
To control for these effects, we measured openness, consci-
entiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism
using the 44-item Big-Five Inventory (John & Srivastava,
1999). The subscales all demonstrated adequate reliability
(αs > .76).
Number of interactions, subjective well-being, and belonging.
Students reported how many different classmates they had
interacted with in person, no matter how minimal the inter-
action. They counted interactions that occurred right before,
during, or after class, excluding conversations that were part
912 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 40(7)
of a class requirement. Happiness was measured with a sin-
gle question: “How are you feeling right now?” answered
on a scale from 0 to 100 (Killingsworth & Gilbert, 2010).
Finally, belonging was measured with a single item from
the Sense-of-Community Scale: “I feel like I belong here”
answered on a scale from 1 to 52 (Davidson & Cotter, 1986).
Results
Data preparation and descriptives. Data were mostly com-
plete; only 1.5% of the reports were missing and 223 partici-
pants completed all six reports.
Averaging across their six reports, participants interacted
with a mean of 1.97 (minimum = 0, maximum = 9.83, SD =
1.54) classmates each day. They also reported being quite
happy (M = 73.52, SD = 11.10), and feeling a moderate sense
of belonging in class (M = 3.87, SD = 0.72).
Analytical method. We analyzed the data using HLM to reflect
the fact that there are six measurements (text messages)
nested within each participant. HLM allows the slope of the
relationship between the number of interactions and well-
being to be different for each individual, and allows exami-
nation of both within-person and between-person effects.
The following equations were used to assess the relation-
ships between the number of interactions and the happiness
and belonging outcome variables:
Yij jj ij ij
=+ +ββ ε
01
Interactions . (1)
βββ
0000
10jj
j
u=+ +Interactions .
ββ
11
01jj
u=+. (2)
The outcome variable—happiness or belonging—is rep-
resented by Y. At the day-level, the number of interactions
(person-centered) was used to predict happiness and belong-
ing (Equation 1). Testing the significance of deviations from
person-centered means allows us to address within-person
effects (e.g., examining whether people are happier on days
when they interact with more classmates than they usually
do). Following recommendations by Kreft and de Leeuw
(1998), we also added the number of interactions to the
model at the person-level (Equation 2), this time grand-mean
centered. Testing the significance of deviations from grand
means allows us to assess between-person effects (e.g.,
whether people who have more daily classmate interactions
than others report being happier). All slopes were allowed to
vary randomly.
As a measure of effect size, we report pseudo-R2 (Kreft &
de Leeuw, 1998), which is computed by comparing the vari-
ance explained by the full model with the variance explained
by a model without the variable of interest (i.e., without
classmate interactions, in this particular model). Pseudo-R2
cannot be determined exactly for models with random slopes,
such as the ones in the current analyses. Thus, these effect
sizes should be interpreted cautiously, as approximations.
Between-person differences in social interactions. People who,
on average, interacted with more classmates than other peo-
ple reported greater happiness, b = 1.30, t(240) = 3.30, p =
.001, pseudo-R2 = .05, and a greater sense of belonging, b =
0.11, t(240) = 3.95, p < .001, pseudo-R2 = .04 (see Table 1).
Given that extraverted individuals tend to have more
social interactions (Watson et al., 1992) and tend to be hap-
pier (Pavot et al., 1990), we tested whether these effects
were due to individual differences in personality. With the
Big-Five personality traits (grand-mean centered) included
in the model (at the person-level), the average number of
classmate interactions still predicted greater happiness, b =
0.97, t(234) = 2.49, p = .01, and belonging, b = 0.06, t(234)
= 2.21, p = .03.
Within-person differences in social interactions. A more strin-
gent test of our hypothesis pertains to within-person effects:
Do people experience greater subjective well-being and
belonging on days when they interact with more classmates
than they usually do? Indeed, we found within-person effects
of classmate interactions on happiness, b = 0.82, t(241) =
2.50, p = .01, pseudo-R2 = .03, and on feelings of belonging,
b = 0.06, t(241) = 3.32, p = .001, pseudo-R2 = .08 (see Table
1). There is no need to control for personality or other vari-
ables that differ between people, but are stable within a per-
son; these factors will be effectively the same for each
measurement, thus they do not contribute to the within-per-
son variance.
Exploratory analyses. Given that students did not report
whether each interaction partner was a weak tie or a strong
tie, we could not directly test the hypothesis that weak tie
interactions are associated with well-being. However, we
tested this hypothesis indirectly, by examining reports of
classroom friendships. We reasoned that students who
reported having no close friends in class must be interacting
solely with weak ties. To test whether the effect of social
Table 1. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Analysis, Predicting
Happiness and Belonging From the Number of Classmate
Interactions in Study 1.
Happiness Belonging
Person-level (between)
Intercept 73.70 (0.70)*** 3.87 (0.05)***
Interactions (mean) 1.30 (0.39)** 0.11 (0.03)***
Day-level (within)
Interaction slope 0.82 (0.33)* 0.06 (0.02)**
Note. Numbers represent unstandardized coefficients, with standard
errors in brackets. The approximate degree of freedom is 241 for the
day-level effects and 240 for the person-level effects.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
Sandstrom and Dunn 913
interactions on happiness and belonging differed for these
students (n = 133) compared with students who had some
close friends in class (n = 100), we tested a model that
included a dummy variable indicating whether people
reported having any strong ties in class. There was no
between-person effect of this dummy variable on happiness
(p = .67) or belonging (p = .13), indicating that students who
had only weak tie classmates did not differ from students
who had some strong tie classmates in average happiness or
feelings of belonging. Turning to within-person analyses, if
this dummy variable moderated the effect of the number of
social interactions on happiness or belonging, it would sug-
gest that the effect of an additional interaction is different
depending on whether a person has any strong ties in class.
However, this dummy variable did not moderate the effect of
classmate interactions on either happiness (p = .87) or
belonging (p = .28). These findings suggest that people felt a
greater sense of happiness and belonging on days when they
interacted with more classmates, even if those classmates
were all weak ties.
Although we had no a priori hypotheses about factors that
might moderate the observed effects, we ran exploratory
analyses to test several possibilities. First, we tested whether
the slope of the relationship between classmate interactions
and well-being depended on personality (e.g., whether extra-
verted people benefitted more from additional classmate
interactions than did introverted people). The effect of class-
mate interactions on happiness was stronger for people high
in openness, b = 1.12, t(235) = 2.61, p = .01, but none of the
other Big-Five personality traits qualified the effect (ps >
.30). Similarly, the effect of classmate interactions on belong-
ing was stronger for people high in openness, b = 0.07, t(235)
= 3.28, p = .002, and marginally stronger for people low in
extraversion, b = −0.03, t(235) = 1.92, p = .06, but was not
qualified by any other personality factor (ps > .32).
Next, we tested whether the effects of classmate interac-
tions on happiness and belonging leveled off. When a qua-
dratic classmate interaction term was included in the model,
it was not significant for either happiness (p = .41) or belong-
ing (p = .14). This suggests that the effects are linear (i.e.,
that each additional classmate interaction is associated with
additional happiness and feelings of belonging).3
Discussion
The present results show that interacting with more class-
mates is linked to greater social and emotional well-being
after class. Students who typically interact with more class-
mates are happier and experience greater feelings of belong-
ing. Furthermore, students are happier and experience greater
feelings of belonging during classes when they interact with
more classmates than usual. These results emerged even
though participants described most of their classmates (64%)
as weak ties, and our findings held up even for people who
had no strong ties at all in class.
Of course, because participants did not classify whether
each interaction partner was a strong or weak tie, we cannot
directly compare the effects of interacting with weak versus
strong ties. Thus, in Study 2, participants separately counted
the number of interactions with weak ties and strong ties,
allowing us to examine weak ties specifically, and to deter-
mine the independent effects of each type of interaction. We
also broadened the context of the interactions; instead of
limiting the focus to interactions within a single class, par-
ticipants kept track of all of their daily interactions. Study 1
was constrained to use short measures of happiness and
belonging due to restrictions on the length of text messages,
but we gathered a broader range of well-being measures in
Study 2.
Study 2A: Daily Weak Tie Interactions
(Students)
Method
Participants. A total of 58 first-year university students (15
males and 43 females, Mage = 19.22, SDage = 3.24) received
either course credit or Cdn$30 for completing the study.
Procedure. At the beginning of the semester, participants
came to the lab to complete demographic and personality
questions, and receive instructions. Participants received a
pair of mechanical tally counters (“clickers”) and were given
detailed instructions on how to distinguish between interac-
tions with strong ties and weak ties, which they were to count
using red and black clickers, respectively. We provided sev-
eral possible criteria for distinguishing a strong tie: “Some-
one you are very close to,” “someone who you know really
well (and knows you really well),” or “someone who you
confide in or talk to about yourself or your problems.” For
weak ties, criteria were as follows: “Someone you are not
very close to,” “someone who you don’t know really well
(and who doesn’t know you really well),” or “someone who
you consider a friend, but would be unlikely to confide in.”
For 3 days in a row in September and 3 days in a row in
November (a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each time),
participants were asked to carry the clickers with them at all
times and keep track of all of their social interactions.
Participants counted each time that they greeted someone in
person, regardless of the length of the interaction. At the end
of each day, in addition to reporting the number of strong tie
and weak tie interactions, participants reported their subjec-
tive well-being and belonging via an online questionnaire.4
Measures
Personality. Participants rated their openness, conscien-
tiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism using
the Ten-Item Personality Inventory (Gosling, Rentfrow, &
Swann, 2003; see Table 2 for reliability, sample items, and
response options for all measures).
914 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 40(7)
Number of interactions. Participants reported the tallies
from the clickers (i.e., the number of interactions they had
with strong and weak ties).
Subjective well-being. We measured subjective well-being
broadly, assessing positive and negative affect, as well as
subjective happiness.
Affect. To measure positive affect and negative affect, we
used the Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (Diener
et al., 2010). This scale was developed to measure trait-level
affect, asking people to report the frequency of various feel-
ings over the past 4 weeks. We adapted it to measure state-
level affect, asking participants to “think about what you
have been doing and experiencing today.”
Subjective happiness. Participants provided a global
assessment of their own happiness, using the Subjective
Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999). Although
this measure was designed to assess trait-level happiness,
past research in our lab has found that this measure can also
detect short-term changes in well-being (Aknin et al., 2013).
Subjective well-being composite. In the absence of past
research on weak ties to drive more specific hypotheses, we
chose to use several measures designed to capture different
aspects of subjective well-being, and to focus on the overall
relationship between weak ties and a composite measure of
subjective well-being. We standardized the positive affect,
negative affect (reverse-scored), and subjective happiness
measures and averaged them to create a composite measure
(α = .91). For transparency, we also report the results for the
individual measures in Table 3.
Belonging. To assess participants’ sense of belonging, we
used several different measures that tap into related con-
structs.
Social connectedness. We assessed how connected par-
ticipants felt to others in general (i.e., not limited to the uni-
versity community), using the Social Connectedness Scale
(Lee, Draper, & Lee, 2001). We selected items with the
highest reported factor loadings on the common construct,
but excluded items that referred to “friends” or “people I
Table 2. Reliability, Sample Items, and Response Options for the Measures in Studies 2A and 2B.
Measure
Reliability (α)
Study 2A
Reliability (α)
Study 2B
No. of
items
No. of items
reverse-scored Sample item(s) Response options
Personality O: .35
C: .58
E: .70
A: .47
N: .39
O: .23
C: .78
E: .81
A: .62
N: .44
O: 2
C: 2
E: 2
A: 2
N: 2
O: 1
C: 1
E: 1
A: 1
N: 1
“Extraverted,
enthusiastic”;
“Reserved, quiet”
1 = disagree strongly
7 = agree strongly
Subjective well-being .91 .95
Positive affect .90 .93 6 0 “Pleasant” 1 = very rarely or never
5 = very often or always
Negative affect .87 .90 6 0 “Unpleasant” 1 = very rarely or never
5 = very often or always
Subjective happiness .86 .93 4 1 “In general I
consider myself”:
1 = not a very happy person
7 = a very happy person
Belonging .92 .94
Social
connectedness
.87 .84 11a7 “I am able to relate
to my peers”
1 = strongly disagree
6 = strongly agree
Social support .73 .89 5a 0 “When I need
suggestions on
how to deal
with a personal
problem, I know
someone I can
turn to”
1 = definitely false
4 = definitely true
Loneliness .88 .92 10a 5 “How often do you
feel alone?”
1 = never
4 = always
Sense of community .84 .57 8a 2 “I feel like I belong
here”
1 = strongly disagree
4 = strongly agree
Note. For the personality measure, reliability was assessed across the two items constituting each of the Big-Five factors: openness (O), conscientiousness
(C), extraversion (E), agreeableness (A), neuroticism (N). For the remaining measures, the alpha was averaged across the different measurements.
The subjective happiness measure has different response options for each question; response options for one question are provided here. Due to
experimenter error, connectedness was not collected on the first 2 days in Study 2A. In Study 2B, sense of community was not included in the belonging
composite due to low correlations with the other measures of belonging.
aFor these scales, we selected a subset of the items (see online appendix for details).
Sandstrom and Dunn 915
Table 4. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Analysis, Predicting the Belonging Composite Measure, and All Its Component Measures, From
the Number of Strong and Weak Tie Interactions in Study 2A.
Effect Belonging composite Social connectedness Social support Loneliness Sense of community
Person-level (between)
Intercept 0.01 (0.08) 4.53 (0.10)*** 3.35 (0.05)*** 2.08 (0.05)*** 3.23 (0.05)***
Strong ties (mean) 0.03 (0.01)*** 0.03 (0.01)*** 0.01 (0.01)* −0.02 (0.01)*** 0.01 (0.005)
Weak ties (mean) 0.02 (0.01)* 0.02 (0.01)* 0.004 (0.007) −0.01 (0.005)0.02 (0.01)**
Day-level (within)
Strong tie slope 0.01 (0.003)* 0.001 (0.005) 0.01 (0.004)* −0.003 (0.003) 0.002 (0.002)
Weak tie slope 0.002 (0.003) 0.003 (0.005) −0.001 (0.003) 0.002 (0.002) 0.004 (0.002)
Note. Numbers represent unstandardized coefficients, with standard errors in brackets. The approximate degree of freedom is 57 for the day-level effects
and 55 for the person-level effects.
p < .10. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
know,” to tap into the idea of connectedness to people in
general, not just those in one’s social circle (see online
appendix for details about the items we used).
Social support. Students reported the extent to which they
felt they had people they could count on by answering ques-
tions on the Interpersonal Support Evaluation List (Cohen,
Mermelstein, Kamarck, & Hoberman, 1985). Following pre-
vious research (Martire, Schulz, Mittelmark, & Newsom,
1999), we selected five items measuring emotional, informa-
tional, and instrumental support.
Loneliness. We measured loneliness using the UCLA
Loneliness Scale, version 3 (Russell, 1996). We selected
from among the items with the strongest reported item-
total correlations for student samples, while not selecting
questions that overlapped too much with other constructs
that we were measuring. We selected questions that
referred to people in general, rather than friends and
family.
Sense of community. We measured the degree to which
participants felt like they were a part of the university com-
munity with the Sense-of-Community Scale (Davidson &
Cotter, 1986). Though this scale was originally developed to
look at sense of community within a city, we adapted it to
measure sense of community at a university.
Belonging composite. As with subjective well-being, we
chose to use a broad range of measures and rely upon a com-
posite measure to examine the overall pattern of associations
with weak ties. We standardized the social connectedness,
social support, loneliness (reverse-scored) and sense of com-
munity measures and averaged them to create a composite
measure (α = .92). For transparency, we also report the results
for the individual measures in Table 4.
Results
Descriptives. Data were mostly complete; only 1.4% of the
reports were missing and 54 participants completed all six
reports.
Averaging across their six reports, participants interacted
with a mean of 9.65 strong ties (minimum = 0, maximum = 46,
SD = 9.18) and 15.96 weak ties (minimum = 2.80, maximum
= 54.83, SD = 9.45) each day.
Analytical method. We used the same analytical approach as
in Study 1. To assess the relationships between the number of
Table 3. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Analysis, Predicting the Subjective Well-Being Composite Measure, and All Its Component
Measures, From the Number of Strong and Weak Tie Interactions in Study 2A.
Effect Subjective well-being composite Positive affect Negative affect Subjective happiness
Person-level (between)
Intercept 0.0003 (0.08) 3.61 (0.07)*** 2.02 (0.07)*** 5.08 (0.12)***
Strong ties (mean) 0.02 (0.01)** 0.01 (0.007)* −0.001 (0.005) 0.04 (0.01)**
Weak ties (mean) 0.02 (0.01)** 0.01 (0.01)* −0.02 (0.01)*** 0.01 (0.01)
Day-level (within)
Strong tie slope 0.01 (0.005)* 0.01 (0.01)* −0.004 (0.005) 0.005 (0.004)
Weak tie slope 0.02 (0.005)** 0.03 (0.01)*** −0.02 (0.005)** 0.004 (0.004)
Note. Numbers represent unstandardized coefficients, with standard errors in brackets. The approximate degree of freedom is 57 for the day-level effects
and 55 for the person-level effects.
*p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
916 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 40(7)
strong and weak tie interactions and the subjective well-
being and belonging outcome variables, we used the follow-
ing equations:
Yij jj ij jiij
=+
++
ββ
βε
01 2
Strong Weak j. (3)
ββββ
000010
20
jj
jj
u=+
++
Strong Weak .
ββ
11
01jj
u=+.
ββ
22
02jj
u=+.
(4)
By including both strong and weak tie interaction counts as
predictors, we can assess the individual contribution of each.
As in Study 1, the number of strong and weak tie interactions
were person-centered at the day-level (i.e., within-person) and
grand-mean centered at the person-level (i.e., between-per-
son), and all slopes were allowed to vary randomly.
Between-person differences in social interactions. People who,
on average, interacted with more weak ties than other indi-
viduals reported greater average subjective well-being, b =
0.02, t(55) = 3.03, p = .004, pseudo-R2 = .04 (see Table 3),
and greater average belonging, b = 0.02, t(55) = 2.19, p = .03,
pseudo-R2 = .06 (see Table 4). Similarly, people who, on
average, interacted with more strong ties reported greater
subjective well-being, b = 0.02, t(55) = 2.71, p = .01, pseudo-
R2 = .08, and greater belonging, b = 0.03, t(55) = 3.99, p <
.001, pseudo-R2 = .14. Given that both weak tie and strong tie
interactions were entered simultaneously into the model, this
suggests that each type of interaction has an independent
effect on social and emotional well-being.
These effects were not solely attributable to individual
differences in personality: With the Big-Five personality
traits included in the model, more daily weak tie interactions
still predicted greater average subjective well-being, b =
0.01, t(50) = 2.39, p = .02, and marginally greater average
belonging, b = 0.01, t(50) = 1.81, p = .08. More daily strong
tie interactions still predicted greater belonging, b = 0.02,
t(50) = 3.14, p = .003, but the effect on subjective well-being
dropped below conventional levels of significance, b = 0.01,
t(50) = 1.65, p = .11.
Within-person differences in social interactions. A more strin-
gent test of our hypothesis pertains to within-person effects:
Do people experience greater subjective well-being and
belonging on days when they have more interactions than
they usually do? Indeed, we found a within-person effect of
weak tie interactions on subjective well-being, b = 0.02,
t(57) = 3.36, p = .001, pseudo-R2 = .10 (see Table 3), but not
on belonging, p = .62 (see Table 4).
Strong ties were also related to social and emotional
well-being. On days when people interacted with more
strong ties than usual, they reported greater subjective well-
being, b = 0.01, t(57) = 2.26, p = .03, pseudo-R2 = .02, and a
greater sense of belonging, b = 0.01, t(57) = 2.22, p = .03,
pseudo-R2 = .01.
Exploratory analyses. Although we had no a priori hypotheses
about factors that might moderate the observed effects, we ran
exploratory analyses to test several possibilities. First, we tested
whether the within-person effects of weak tie interactions on
subjective well-being and belonging were qualified by the num-
ber of strong tie interactions. When a Weak Tie × Strong Tie
interaction term was included in the model, the coefficient was
significant for subjective well-being, b = −0.0005, t(57) = −3.98,
p < .001. A plot of the simple slopes (computed via online cal-
culators; Preacher, Curran, & Bauer, 2006; Shacham, 2009)
shows that the effect of additional weak tie interactions is stron-
ger on days when people have fewer strong tie interactions than
usual (see Figure 1). The Weak Tie × Strong Tie interaction term
was not significant for belonging, p = .26.
Next, we tested whether the slope of the relationship
between interactions and well-being differed for people who
had different personality traits (e.g., whether extraverted
people benefitted more from additional interactions than did
introverted people). The effects of weak tie and strong tie
interactions on subjective well-being were not qualified by
any of the Big-Five personality traits (ps > .39 and ps > .43,
respectively). However, the within-person effect of weak tie
interactions on belonging was stronger for people low in
extraversion, b = −0.01, t(52) = 3.26, p = .002 (other ps >
.45). In other words, each additional weak tie interaction
resulted in a greater increase in belonging for people low in
Figure 1. The Weak Tie × Strong Tie interaction in Study 2A.
Note. Both variables are person-centered and thus represent deviations
from a person’s usual number of daily interactions. The simple slopes are
plotted at −1 SD and +1 SD from the mean number of daily strong tie
interactions.
Sandstrom and Dunn 917
extraversion than for people high in extraversion. Also, the
within-person effect of strong tie interactions on belonging
was stronger for people low in openness, b = −0.01, t(52) =
−2.48, p = .02, and people high in agreeableness, b = 0.01,
t(52) = 2.70, p = .01 (other ps > .14).
Finally, we tested whether the effects of social interac-
tions leveled off, by adding quadratic strong and weak tie
interaction terms to the model. The more interactions some-
one has, the smaller the effect of each additional interaction;
the quadratic weak tie interaction term was significant for
subjective well-being, b = −0.0003, t(57) = −2.50, p = .02,
but not belonging, b = 0.0001, t(57) = 0.64, p = .53, whereas
the quadratic strong tie interaction term was significant for
both subjective well-being, b = −0.0003, t(57) = −2.67, p =
.01, and belonging, b = −0.0004, t(57) = −3.65, p = .001.
Discussion
The present results suggest that the benefits of weak tie inter-
actions are not restricted to the classroom. Students who usu-
ally have more daily interactions with weak ties than others
are happier and experience greater feelings of belonging.
Furthermore, on days when students interact with more weak
ties than usual, they are happier.
Studies 1 and 2A are limited in that they both use student
populations, thus restricting the generalizability of the find-
ings. The daily context of a university student differs from
the daily context of a community member in several respects.
For one thing, students spend many hours on campus in close
proximity to other students, thus potentially exposing them
to more frequent opportunities for interaction. Furthermore,
university students have more weak ties in their social net-
works. Past research has shown that social networks grow
smaller as people age (Carstensen, 1992; Fredrickson &
Carstensen, 1990; Wrzus, Hänel, Wagner, & Neyer, 2013),
and that the reductions are mostly in the periphery of the
social network (i.e., weak ties; Lang, 2000; Lang &
Carstensen, 1994). Although often studied in older adults,
some evidence suggests that this reduction of weak ties may
begin in late adolescence (Carstensen, 1992; Wrzus et al.,
2013). Given these differences in the number of weak tie
relationships and in opportunities for interactions, we ran a
small follow-up study to explore the critical issue of general-
izability: Do the effects of weak ties only appear for univer-
sity students, or can they be detected in a broader community
sample?
Study 2B: Daily Weak Tie Interactions
(Community Members)
Method
Participants. Clickers were mailed to 53 community members
(16 males and 37 females), all older than 25. Participants were
paid Cdn$30 for completing the study.
Procedure. Participants were recruited via print and online
classified advertisements and were phone screened by a
research assistant. If the participant was eligible to complete
the study,5 they learned about the purpose of the study,
received an overview of the procedure, and were told how
much they would be paid. Upon confirming their interest in
completing the study, the procedures were explained in more
detail, and the criteria for distinguishing between strong ties
and weak ties were described.
After the phone screening, but before being sent the click-
ers, participants completed an online questionnaire, rating
their personality and reporting the same demographic infor-
mation as in Study 2A. This questionnaire was used to solicit
consent, and to assess commitment toward the study before
incurring the cost of shipping the clickers. After participants
received the clickers, they used them for 6 days over the
course of approximately 2 weeks, counting all of their social
interactions with both strong and weak ties and filling out the
same online questionnaire as in Study 2A.
Measures
Personality. Participants again rated their personality
using the TIPI (Gosling et al., 2003; see Table 2 for sample
items, response options, and reliability for all measures).
Number of interactions, subjective well-being, and belonging.
Participants reported the interaction tallies from the clickers.6
We measured subjective well-being and belonging broadly,
using the same scales as in Study 2A, and creating the same
composite measures (subjective well-being: α = .95; belong-
ing: α = .94). We omitted the sense of community measure
from the belonging composite due to its low reliability and
low correlations with the other measures of belonging (|r|s <
.26, ps > .10).
Results
Attrition and descriptives. Although we aimed to recruit as
many participants as in Study 2A, there was a high rate of attri-
tion. Three people claimed that they did not receive the click-
ers, and three people decided not to participate after receiving
the clickers. In addition, three people completed less than
three surveys, which is the practical minimum for use in
within-person analyses with HLM. Finally, three people sub-
mitted the majority of their reports in the morning, rather than
at the end of the day, thus preventing us from seeing the effect
of a day’s interactions on that day’s well-being. After remov-
ing these participants from all analyses, the final sample was
41 community members (11 males and 30 females), for whom
data were mostly complete; only 3.25% of the reports were
missing and 35 participants completed all six reports.
Averaging across their reports, participants interacted
with a mean of 6.70 strong ties (minimum = 0.33, maximum
= 22.50, SD = 5.81) and 11.40 weak ties (minimum = 0, max-
imum = 74.67, SD = 12.96) each day.
918 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 40(7)
Between-person differences in social interactions. People who,
on average, interacted with more weak ties than other peo-
ple reported significantly greater average feelings of belong-
ing, b = .02, t(38) = 2.89, p = .01, pseudo-R2 = .05 (see
Table 6), and slightly (but non-significantly) greater subjec-
tive well-being, b = .01, t(38) = 1.45, p = .16 (see Table 5).
The average number of strong tie interactions was not
related to average feelings of belonging, b = .001, t(38) =
0.03, p = .98, or average subjective well-being, b = −.02,
t(38) = −1.15, p = .26.
Within-person differences in social interactions. A more strin-
gent test of our hypothesis pertains to within-person effects:
Do people experience greater subjective well-being and
belonging on days when they have more interactions than
they usually do? Indeed, people reported greater belonging,
b = .002, t(40) = 2.84, p = .01, pseudo-R2 = .001 (see Table
6), though not greater subjective well-being, b = −.0004,
t(40) = −0.29, p = .77 (see Table 5), on days when they inter-
acted with more weak ties than usual.
Strong tie interactions were also related to well-being.
On days when people interacted with more strong ties than
usual, they reported greater subjective well-being, b = 0.01,
t(40) = 2.77, p = .01, pseudo-R2 = .02, and a greater sense of
belonging, b = 0.01, t(40) = 2.14, p = .04, pseudo-R2 = .004.
Discussion
The results of this small follow-up study suggest that the
associations between weak tie interactions and social and
emotional well-being are not limited to university students.
In a community sample, people who interacted with more
weak ties than others or interacted with more weak ties than
usual felt a greater sense of belonging.
General Discussion
The current studies provide initial, convergent evidence that
interactions with people on the periphery of our social net-
works may contribute to our social and emotional well-being.
In Study 1, students who had, on average, more interactions
with their classmates than others reported greater feelings of
belonging and greater happiness. After classes in which they
interacted with more classmates than usual, students reported
greater feelings of belonging and greater happiness. We
found similar results when we expanded the scope to include
Table 6. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Analysis, Predicting the Belonging Composite Measure, and All Its Component Measures, From
the Number of Strong and Weak Tie Interactions in Study 2B.
Effect Belonging composite Social connectedness Social support Loneliness Sense of community
Person-level (between)
Intercept −.01 (.13) 4.47 (.17)*** 3.27 (.10)*** 2.03 (.09)*** 2.30 (.06)***
Strong ties (mean) .001 (.02) −.01 (.03) .01 (.02) .003 (.01) .004 (.009)
Weak ties (mean) .02 (.01)** .02 (.01)* .01 (.005)** −.01 (.004)* .005 (.002)*
Day-level (within)
Strong tie slope .01 (.003)* .01 (.004)** .003 (.002) −.004 (.005) .00003 (.003)
Weak tie slope .002 (.001)** .003 (.002).001 (.001) −.002 (.001)* .002 (.001)
Note. Numbers represent unstandardized coefficients, with standard errors in brackets. The approximate degree of freedom is 40 for the day-level effects
and 38 for the person-level effects. Sense of community is not included in the belonging composite due to low reliability and low correlations with the
other measures.
p < .10. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
Table 5. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Analysis, Predicting the Subjective Well-Being Composite Measure, and All Its Component
Measures, From the Number of Strong and Weak Tie Interactions in Study 2B.
Effect Subjective well-being composite Positive affect Negative affect Subjective happiness
Person-level (between)
Intercept .002 (.12) 3.69 (.12)*** 1.67 (.09)*** 5.23 (.19)***
Strong ties (mean) −.02 (.02) −.01 (.02) .01 (.02) −.05 (.03)
Weak ties (mean) .01 (.01) .01 (.01) −.01 (.005) .02 (.01)
Day-level (within)
Strong tie slope .01 (.005)** .03 (.01)*** −.0003 (.01) .01 (.01)
Weak tie slope −.0004 (.001) .003 (.002) .003 (.001)* −.0001 (.002)
Note. Numbers represent unstandardized coefficients, with standard errors in brackets. The approximate degree of freedom is 40 for the day-level effects
and 38 for the person-level effects.
p < .10. *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001.
Sandstrom and Dunn 919
all daily interactions. In Study 2A, students who had, on
average, more daily weak tie interactions than others reported
greater feelings of belonging and greater happiness.
Furthermore, they reported greater happiness on days when
they interacted with more weak ties than usual. Finally, in
Study 2B we found evidence that the effects are not limited
to students. In particular, community members who had, on
average, more weak tie interactions than others reported
greater feelings of belonging. Furthermore, people reported
greater feelings of belonging on days when they interacted
with more weak ties than usual. As the first studies in social
psychology to focus explicitly on the positive outcomes
associated with weak tie interactions, the present research
points to the important role played by the peripheral mem-
bers of individuals’ social networks in daily life.
The results of our exploratory analyses suggest fruitful
areas for further research. We found that the effect of each
additional weak tie interaction was greater on days when peo-
ple had fewer daily weak tie interactions or fewer daily strong
tie interactions. Although we did not predict these effects, it
makes sense intuitively that on days when people have fewer
interactions, they might benefit the most from having more
weak tie interactions. In addition, we explored whether the
effects depended on personality, but found little evidence for
moderation. Consistent with past research (Fleeson, Malanos,
& Achille, 2002), we found evidence that the effect of weak
ties was not limited to extraverts; indeed, having interactions
with a broad range of network members might be especially
beneficial for those who are low in extraversion.
Limitations
Although the overall pattern of results suggests that weak tie
interactions are broadly associated with subjective well-being
and belonging, the strength and significance of the effects var-
ied across studies and measures. This variability may be due to
differences in the social contexts and types of interactions
experienced by the different samples. For example, in a recent
study in our lab, students classified 57% of their interactions
as being “just for fun” (Sandstrom & Dunn, 2013b). Although
we do not have comparable data for a community sample, we
suspect that community members have fewer social, elective
interactions, and more instrumental, required interactions
(e.g., with service providers and colleagues at work).
Unfortunately, in the current studies we only had information
about the number of interactions, and not about the length of
the interactions, or the content or emotional quality of the
interactions. This information would allow us to determine the
relative strength of positive and negative interactions on one’s
well-being, and to weigh the quantity of interactions against
the quality. Future research is needed to investigate how these
interaction attributes differ between contexts, and how these
differences shape the effects on well-being.
One important limitation of the current studies is that the
methods are correlational and thus causal direction cannot be
determined. We suspect that interacting with more weak ties
results in people feeling better, but it is also possible that feel-
ing better causes people to interact with more weak ties;
indeed, these possibilities are not mutually exclusive, and
future work should test both causal directions. For example,
participants could be randomly assigned to participate in an
intervention designed to enhance daily mood or sense of
belonging, and changes in daily interactions could be assessed
to determine whether people interact more with weak ties as a
result of feeling better. Conversely, one could test whether
interactions with weak ties cause greater well-being by
encouraging people to interact with more (or fewer) weak ties
and measuring resultant changes in well-being. Initial
research in our lab, however, suggests that simply instructing
people to alter their social interactions might be ineffective
(see Note 1); instead, it may be necessary to creatively struc-
ture situations that foster (or limit) weak tie interactions.
Implications
The present studies have implications for future research link-
ing social interactions to psychological outcomes. The vast
majority of past studies examining the association between
social interactions and subjective well-being relied upon ret-
rospective reports. Our findings reveal the shortcomings of
this methodology. Students in Study 2A reported interacting
with approximately 9.5 strong ties and 16.5 weak ties each
day. Previous studies have not always reported the average
number of daily interactions, but two studies with student
populations found means of 6 to 10 interactions per day
(Asendorpf & Wilpers, 1998; Berry & Hansen, 1996). Thus,
by explicitly asking participants to count weak tie interactions
as they occurred, issues related to recall were reduced in the
current studies: We captured more than double the number of
social interactions that were reported in previous studies.
Consideration of the effects of these interactions has been
missing in previous research, and future research might ben-
efit by examining the full spectrum of social relationships.
The current studies also suggest a possible modification
to the theoretical account of the need to belong (Baumeister
& Leary, 1995). Originally, this need was thought to be satis-
fied only by frequent interactions with close others. However,
the current studies are consistent with more recent research
suggesting that even minimal relationships can play a role in
fulfilling the need to belong (Sandstrom & Dunn, 2013a,
Wesselmann et al., 2012). Thus, the present results join a
chorus of other new research in pointing to the value of re-
examining the role played by our broader social networks in
fulfilling the fundamental human need to belong.
The results of Study 2B have implications for socio-emo-
tional selectivity theory (SST; Carstensen, 1992), which pro-
poses that the reason why people retain fewer weak ties as
they age is because they find these relationships less fulfilling.
In contrast, we found evidence that these relationships are ful-
filling: People of various ages (though younger than those
920 Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 40(7)
usually studied with respect to SST) experienced a greater
sense of belonging on days when they interacted with more
weak ties. Thus, although SST suggests that the pruning of
weak ties is a functional decision in service of emotion regula-
tion, it is possible that the decision is actually a result of people
underestimating the benefits of weak ties. Indeed, past research
suggests that young adults underestimate the emotional bene-
fits of interacting with people they do not know well (Dunn,
Biesanz, Human, & Finn, 2007). Future research might test
whether older adults make similar—and perhaps exacer-
bated—affective forecasting errors, leading them to prune
their social networks at a cost to their overall well-being.
Why might weak ties contribute to well-being over and
above the well-studied benefits of strong ties? One intriguing
possibility is that weak ties promote well-being by contribut-
ing diversity to the social network. Just as a diverse financial
portfolio makes people less vulnerable to market fluctua-
tions, a diverse social portfolio might make people less vul-
nerable to fluctuations in their social network. Indeed, the
diversity of one’s social network has been identified as a pro-
tective factor against disease development and mortality
across a broad range of illnesses (Berkman, 1995; Cohen &
Janicki-Deverts, 2009). There may be added value in having
a wide circle of weak ties who offer companionship in differ-
ent contexts (e.g., some acquaintances at the dog park, differ-
ent acquaintances at yoga class).
Conclusion
The current research suggests that we should not underesti-
mate the value of our acquaintances—interactions with weak
ties are related to our subjective well-being and feelings of
belonging. Although further research is needed to examine
causality, the current results are consistent with the idea that
the more peripheral members of our social network shape
our day-to-day happiness. So, chat with the coffee barista,
work colleague, yoga classmate, and dog owner—these
interactions may contribute meaningfully to our happiness,
above and beyond the contribution of interactions with our
close friends and family.
Acknowledgments
The authors wish to thank the following people for assisting with
data collection: Richard Abasta, Kate Block, Lysandra Chan, Carrie
Cheung, Amanda Chui, Jen Fatkin, Ashton Hung, Audrey Kim,
Kostadin Kushlev, Stephanie Kwong, Victoria Lau, Genevieve
Lorenzo, Jenn McDermid, Ben Pierce, Kate Rogers, Jael Van
Bentum, Tess Walker, Jen Won, Fontayne Wong. We also wish to
thank Lauren Human for contributing to the study design, Carl Falk
and Christiane Hoppmann for statistical advice, and Jill Allen for
reading a previous version of the manuscript.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect
to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Funding
This work was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities
Research Council of Canada [grant numbers 752-2011-2192,
410-2011-0582].
Notes
1. Data were collected as part of a broader study designed to
experimentally investigate the effects of in-class interactions on
happiness. Participants randomly assigned to the experimental
condition had the opportunity to meet several classmates, and
on several occasions during the semester were encouraged to
keep in touch with one another. This manipulation was inef-
fective; there was no difference in the average number of daily
in-class interactions for the experimental group (M = 1.97,
SD = 1.73) compared with the control group (M = 1.96, SD =
1.30), t(240) = .06, p = .96. As a result, the current study ignores
the condition assignment. Importantly, the groups also did not
differ in their average daily reports of happiness (p = .72) or
belonging (p = .56).
2. By asking the belonging question on a 1 to 5 scale, and the hap-
piness question on a 0 to 100 scale, we may have confused some
of the participants. Nine responses to the belonging question that
were greater than five, and 16 responses to the happiness ques-
tion that were more than three standard deviations below the
mean were removed from analyses. We also asked students how
much they enjoyed class, which is not relevant to the current
research question.
3. We also tested a model that included the dummy code indicating
whether participants had strong ties in class. There was no inter-
action between this dummy variable and the quadratic terms for
either happiness (p = .78) or belonging (p = .26), suggesting that
there is no difference in the amount of leveling off for people
with versus without strong ties in class.
4. In addition to the measures listed, we also measured Flourishing
(Diener et al., 2010) as an index of subjective well-being and
Positive Relations With Others (Ryff, 1989) as an index of
belonging. These measures were included on an exploratory
basis, and were only assessed twice, rendering them unsuitable
for within-person analysis with HLM, which effectively requires
at least three measurements.
5. People were considered eligible if they were above the age of 25
(i.e., older than the average university student), had daily social
interactions, and had daily access to a computer to complete the
online questionnaires.
6. Unfortunately the fields used to gather the number of daily
interactions in the online survey could be left blank. On occa-
sions when participants reported a non-zero number of strong
tie interactions, we assumed that they had interacted with zero
weak ties when that field was left blank (26 participant reports).
Similarly, when participants reported a non-zero number of
weak tie interactions, we treated missing strong tie interactions
as zero (21 reports). In contrast, if both the number of weak
tie and strong tie interactions were blank, they were assumed
to be missing rather than zero. When blank interaction reports
are excluded rather than assumed to be zero, the results remain
similar. There are between-person effects of weak tie interac-
tions on belonging, b = .01, t(38) = 2.53, p = .02, but not sub-
jective well-being, p = .65, and no between-person effects of
strong tie interactions on either belonging, p = .64, or subjective
Sandstrom and Dunn 921
well-being, p = .32. There was a within-person effect of weak
tie interactions on belonging, b = .004, t(40) = 2.14, p = .04, but
not subjective well-being, p = .28, and a marginal within-person
effect of strong tie interactions on subjective well-being, b = .01,
t(40) = 1.88, p = .07, but not belonging, p = .98.
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A meaningful amount of people’s knowledge comes from their conversations with others. The amount people expect to learn predicts their interest in having a conversation (Pretests 1-2), suggesting that the presumed information value of conversations guides decisions of whom to talk with. The results of seven experiments, however, suggest that people may systematically underestimate the informational benefit of conversation, creating a barrier to talking with—and hence learning from—others more often in daily life. Participants who were asked to talk with another person expected to learn significantly less from the conversation than they actually reported learning afterwards, regardless of whether they had conversation prompts or not and whether they had the goal to learn or not (Exp 1-2). Undervaluing conversation does not stem from having systematically poor opinions of how much others know (Exp 3), but is instead related to the inherent uncertainty involved in conversation itself. Consequently, people underestimate learning to a lesser extent when uncertainty is reduced, as in a nonsocial context (surfing the web, Exp 4), when talking to an acquainted conversation partner (Exp 5), and after knowing the content of the conversation (Exp 6). Underestimating learning in conversation is distinct from underestimating other positive qualities in conversation, such as enjoyment (Exp 7). Misunderstanding how much can be learned in conversation could keep people from learning more from others in daily life.
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