Sunday, April 23, 2017

Weird Psychological Science

The Boston Globe reports on research studies which show that the more we communicate with others, or live near them, the less we like them. Thus, the Internet's global village only increases our crankiness as it links us together.
Psychological and sociological studies have been casting doubt on the idea that communication dissolves differences. The research suggests that the opposite is true: free-flowing information makes personal and cultural differences more salient, turning people against one another instead of bringing them together.

In a series of experiments reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2007, Harvard psychologist Michael Norton and two colleagues found that, contrary to our instincts, the more we learn about someone else, the more we tend to dislike that person.

Three professors from the University of California at San Diego studied a condominium development near Los Angeles, charting relationships among neighbors. They discovered that as people live more closely together, the likelihood that they’ll become friends goes up, but the likelihood that they’ll become enemies goes up even more. The scholars traced the phenomenon to what they called “environmental spoiling.” The nearer we get to others, the harder it becomes to avoid evidence of their irritating habits.
This all suggests that your Facebook© page or Twitter© account could be considered a "hate crime" in that it brings you closer to others and that may, prima facie, make you and they like each other less. Who knew?