Part of what defines a friendship is what that friendship is founded on. For people to be friends, something has to connect them, but the nature of that connection is different from one friendship to the next. In many cases, part of the foundation of a friendship is similarities – in terms of personality traits,…

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It seems self-evident that having rewarding social connections should be able to help with healthy aging, but framing that intuition in a scientific way turns out to be surprisingly complicated. There are a couple reasons why that’s the case. The first is that loneliness influences and is influenced by other aspects of our behavior in…

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As I’ve written about before, people give gifts for a range of reasons – sometimes simply to do something nice, sometimes because they want to influence others. A new study from researchers in Italy sheds light on another function gifts can serve: increasing teamwork and cooperative performance. In the study, 32 pairs of close friends…

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A theme that often comes up on this blog is that people tend to be biased in their judgments about themselves and about the way other people see them. In many situations, it’s as if people are wired not to see themselves accurately. On one hand, people tend to overestimate their own traits in a…

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