Matchmaking this Valentine’s Day: How it can bring you the most happiness

Matchmaking this Valentine’s Day: How it can bring you the most happiness

If you follow your instinct to play Cupid this Valentine’s Day, it’ll pay off in happiness — not necessarily for the new couple, but definitely for you. According to new research, matchmaking, a time-honored tradition, brings intrinsic happiness to the matchmaker. To maximize the psychological benefits of matchmaking, you should take care to introduce two people who not only seem compatible but who would be unlikely to meet otherwise, researchers say.

via Living Well News — ScienceDaily:

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, you may be thinking of pairing up two friends for a date. If you follow your instinct to play Cupid, it’ll pay off in happiness — not necessarily for the new couple, but definitely for you.According to new research, matchmaking, a time-honored tradition, brings intrinsic happiness to the matchmaker. To maximize the psychological benefits of matchmaking, you should take care to introduce two people who not only seem compatible but who would be unlikely to meet otherwise, researchers say.”At some point, most people have made matches between others — like grabbing two strangers by the arm at a party and introducing them to each other — or can think of a friend notorious for their efforts to make introductions,” says Lalin Anik, a postdoctoral fellow at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She notes that the rising popularity of social networking websites such as Facebook and LinkedIn has made matchmaking effortless and central to social life.Anik, with her colleague Michael Norton of the Harvard Business School, conducted an in-depth investigation of modern-day matchmaking, examining what motivates us to match others — even when it often goes wrong — and how we can reap the emotional benefits of socially linking others. In four studies, to be presented this week at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) annual conference in Austin, they used surveys, computer games, and in-lab social interactions to show when and why making matches between others boosts happiness.In one study, the researchers asked groups of participants to engage in a brief “get acquainted” task in the laboratory. They then asked participants to pair others in the group: One group of participants had to match pairs that they thought would get along; another group tried to match pairs that they thought would not get along; and a third group matched people on the basis of a random characteristic — their social security numbers. Participants who selected pairs of people who they thought would bond became happier as a result of their matchmaking. Those in the other two groups felt the same as they did before the task.In another study, the researchers created a simple computer game in which participants saw a target face and selected one of three other faces with whom they thought the target would best or worst get along. Once again, the matchmakers had the best experience and were willing to play the game much longer than participants asked to pair people on the basis of mutual dislike.Some participants received monetary rewards for each match made, while others did not. Interestingly, the researchers found that paying people diminished their interest in the game. …

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Living Well News — ScienceDaily

Matchmaking this Valentine’s Day: How it can bring you the most happiness

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