[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 15-Feb-2008
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Does socializing make us smarter?

Research published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin by SAGE

Article lead author Oscar Ybarra and his colleagues at the University of Michigan explored the possibility that social interaction improves mental functioning. In a series of related studies, they tested the participants’ level of cognitive functioning, comparing it to the frequency of participants’ social interactions. They found that people who engaged in social interaction displayed higher levels of cognitive performance than the control group. Social interaction aided intellectual performance.

“Social interaction,” the authors suggest, “helps to exercise people’s minds. People reap cognitive benefits from socializing,” They speculate that social interaction “exercises” cognitive processes that are measured on intellectual tasks. “It is possible,” the authors conclude, “that as people engage socially and mentally with others, they receive relatively immediate cognitive boosts.”

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The article, “Mental Exercising Through Simple Socializing: Social Interaction Promotes General Cognitive Functioning,” written by Oscar Ybarra, Eugene Burnstein, Piotr Winkielman, Matthew C. Keller, Melvin Manis, Emily Chan, and Joel Rodriguez of the University of Michigan, and published by SAGE in the February issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, is available at no charge for a limited time at http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/34/2/248.

For over 30 years, the official monthly journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (PSPB) has provided an international forum for the rapid dissemination of original empirical papers in all areas of personality and social psychology. SPSP counts more than 4,500 researchers, educators, and students in its membership worldwide. To contact the Executive Officer of SPSP, call David Dunning at (607) 255-6391, or email at spsp@cornell.edu. http://pspb.sagepub.com www.spsp.org

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and medicine. A privately owned corporation, SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore. www.sagepublications.com



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