Extraordinary Experiences Are Socially Isolating (So Next Time, Take a Friend)
Having a much more interesting time with life than your peers is a recipe for social isolation, according to a report published in Psychological Science.
Think twice before motorbiking across India or seeking out other extraordinary experiences, say a team of Ph.D. students studying the effects of great experience on conversation. Having a much more interesting time with life than your peers is a recipe for social isolation, according to their report published in Psychological Science. In an experiment which supported the group's conclusion, individuals given a very interesting video to watch later felt excluded when the majority of the group had watched a far more boring video. Contrary to what the people who watched the interesting video expected, conversation seems to thrive on the mundane.
"Participants expected an extraordinary experience to leave them feeling better than an ordinary experience at all points in time," the authors wrote. In other words, we think seeing or doing amazing things will make us feel better than people who haven't; it actually makes us feel worse.
A similar study reports that experiencing intense events with another person, even if they are a stranger, results in yet a more intense experience whether it's eating a piece of chocolate or jumping out of an airplane. So if you are set on having a great time, do it with another person. You'll have a fuller experience and have someone to talk to about it.
In his Big Think interview, writer Robert Stone recounts some of the harrowing adventures he took on his path toward recounting them on the page:
Read more at the Atlantic
Photo credit: Shutterstock
The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.
- Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
- Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
These quick bursts of inspiration will brighten your day in 10 minutes or less.
Explore a legendary philosopher's take on how society fails to prepare us for education and progress.
- Alan Watts was an instrumental figure in the 1960s counterculture revolution.
- He believed that we put too much of a focus on intangible goals for our educational and professional careers.
- Watts believed that the whole educational enterprise is a farce compared to how we should be truly living our lives.
How can we use the resources that are already on the Moon to make human exploration of the satellite as economical as possible?
If you were transported to the Moon this very instant, you would surely and rapidly die. That's because there's no atmosphere, the surface temperature varies from a roasting 130 degrees Celsius (266 F) to a bone-chilling minus 170 C (minus 274 F). If the lack of air or horrific heat or cold don't kill you then micrometeorite bombardment or solar radiation will. By all accounts, the Moon is not a hospitable place to be.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.