"Extraordinary experiences" may socially alienate people
Sharing the news of a big trip or fancy dinner may have social consequences, according to a new study published in Psychological Science.
Researchers from Harvard University divided 68 participants into groups of four. One person in the group watched a 4-star rated video of a street magician. The other three watched a 2-star rated video of a street magician. The participants were informed of who watched which video and afterward the group reconvened for a five-minute discussion.
Those who watched the “extraordinary,” higher-rated video said they felt isolated during the discussion. Further data indicates they also felt worse because they didn’t anticipate the social costs of having had the experience.
Two additional studies found that participants believed anyone who has an “extraordinary experience” would feel better than people who had just an ordinary experience. They also aassumed that people who went through an extraordinary event would be more vocal during a discussion and not feel left out. Researchers noted that their study suggests this isn't the case because experiencing something extraordinary can make a person "different" and social inteactions generally are based on similarities among people.
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