Talking with other people in a friendly way can make it easier to solve common problems, a new University of Michigan study shows. But conversations that are competitive in tone, rather than cooperative, have no cognitive benefits.
Credit: ScienceDaily (Oct. 28, 2010)
A recent study by researchers at the University of Michigan tested 192 undergraduates to determine which types of social interaction helped and which didn't.
The researchers concluded that engaging in short conversations where participants were instructed to get to know one another person boosted their performance on a variety of cognitive tasks.
When participants engaged in conversations that were competitive in nature, their performance on cognitive tasks showed no improvement.
"This study shows that simply talking to other people, the way you do when you're making friends, can provide mental benefits," says University of Michigan psychologist Oscar Ybarra, lead author and researcher of the study reported inSocial Psychological and Personality Science.
Are you surprised? I'm not, though I am pleased, as it confirms my own experiences and observations in my knowledge cafes.
This is the original paper: Friends (and Sometimes Enemies) With Cognitive Benefits: What Types of Social Interactions Boost Executive Functioning?