If you’ve spent any time on YouTube over the last few years (and you know you have), you’ve likely seen the video of the invisible gorilla experiment (if you’ve somehow missed it, catch yourself up here). The researchers who conducted that study, Dan Simons and Chris Chabris, didn’t realize that they were about to create an instant classic—a psychology study mentioned alongside the greats, and known well outside the slim confines of psych wonks. Milgram taught us about our sheepish obedience to authority; Mischel used marshmallows to teach us about delayed gratification; and Simons and Chabris used a faux gorilla to teach us that we are not the masters of attention we think we are.
We human beings are social animals. It seems intuitive (even for introverts!) that social contact has benefits. Obviously we need other people to fulfill basic needs such making sure that our genes outlive. Maybe less obviously we seem to need other people to maintain adequate levels of mental well being and motivation.
Even less obviously, social contact may help us improve our brain functionsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
Mental fitness seems to depend on a large part on being connected with other people. For instance people with low social support seem to be more prone to mental illness (McGuire & Raleigh, 1986). In 2007, Gladstone and colleagues studied 218 patients with major depression and found out that low social support, especially coming from the family, was associated with chronic depression.
Merely imagining loneliness can negatively affect our behaviorÃ¢â‚¬Â¦