Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Deep and meaningful conversations make you happy!

“Having more conversation, no matter how trivial, appears to be associated with a greater sense of happiness,” suggests Simine Vazire, PhD, assistant professor of psychology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.

“The happiest were people who engaged often in more meaningful and substantive discussions, as opposed to those who filled conversations with idle chit-chat and small talk.”

Participants scored as “happiest” in the study spent about 25 percent less time alone and 70 percent more time talking to others, as compared with the unhappiest participants. The happiest participants had twice as many substantive conversations and one third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants. (Whole story: http://www.physorg.com/news189188045.html)

Today, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that people who have complex relationships have larger amygdalas (an almond-shaped clump of nerves at the base of your brain.)

Researchers in Boston have found this part of the brain, the amygdala, is larger in more sociable people than in those who lead less gregarious lives. Those with the smallest amygdalas listed fewer than five to 15 regular contacts, while those with the largest amygdalas counted up to 50 acquaintances.

''People who have large amygdalas may have the raw material needed to maintain larger and more complex social networks,'' Professor Barrett said. ''That said, the brain is a use it or lose it organ. It may be that when people interact more their amygdalas get larger. That would be my guess."

All and all, spending time with people and opening your heart towards them is making it easier to meet even more people, which will lead to happiness. You train your brain to be social. Amygdala grows with experience.

What does this have to do with marketing, branding or strategy? Well, I think that brands that respect their audience, see their deep needs (and not just try to do something 'fun' to get their short-term attention) will have the opportunity to get a stronger connection, being associated with happy feelings. One campaign after the other, that pumps out a new contest that is not really related to what you are selling, may give you a minute on the stage, but it hardly make you famous for longer. You will be another winner of Australian Idol, no Elvis Presley so to speak... The more we know about psychology and the mystery of men, the better our ideas will become.

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