People Enjoy Your Company Far More Than You Think


Published:

In our social lives, we’re constantly engaged in what researchers call “meta-perception,” or trying to figure out how other people see us. Do people think we’re boring or interesting, selfish or altruistic, attractive or not?

After we have conversations with new people, our conversation partners like us and enjoy our company more than we think, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Our research suggests that accurately estimating how much a new conversation partner likes us--even though this a fundamental part of social life and something we have ample practice with—is a much more difficult task than we imagine,” explain first authors Erica Boothby, a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell University, and Gus Cooney, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University.

“We call this a ‘liking gap,’ and it can hinder our ability to develop new relationships,” study coauthor Margaret S. Clark, the John M. Musser Professor of Psychology at Yale University, told Yale News.

Boothby, Cooney, Clark, and Gillian M. Sandstrom, Professor of Psychology at the University of Essex, examined various aspects of the liking gap in a series of five studies.

In one study, the researchers paired participants who had not met before and tasked them with having a 5-minute conversation featuring typical icebreaker questions (e.g., Where are you from? What are your hobbies?). At the end of the conversation, the participants answered questions that gauged how much they liked their conversation partner and how much they thought their conversation partner liked them.

On average, the ratings showed that participants liked their partner more than they thought their partner liked them. Since it can’t logically be the case that both people in a conversation like their partner more than their partner likes them, this disparity in average ratings suggests that participants tended to make an estimation error. Indeed, analyses of video recordings suggested that participants were not accounting for their partner’s behavioral signals indicating interest and enjoyment.

In a separate study, participants reflected on the conversations they’d just had—according to their ratings, they believed that the salient moments that shaped their partner’s thoughts about them were more negative than the moments that shaped their own thoughts about their partner.

“They seem to be too wrapped up in their own worries about what they should say or did say to see signals of others’ liking for them, which observers of the conservations see right away,” Clark noted.

Additional studies showed that the liking gap emerged regardless of whether people had longer conversations or had conversations in real-world settings. And a study of actual college roommates showed that the liking gap was far from fleeting, enduring over several months.

The phenomenon is interesting because it stands in contrast with the well-established finding that we generally view ourselves more positively than we do others, whether we’re thinking about our driving skills, our intelligence, or our chance of experiencing negative outcomes like illness or divorce.

“The liking gap works very differently. When it comes to social interaction and conversation, people are often hesitant, uncertain about the impression they’re leaving on others, and overly critical of their own performance,” say Boothby and Cooney. “In light of people’s vast optimism in other domains, people’s pessimism about their conversations is surprising.”

The researchers hypothesize that this difference may come down to the context in which we make these self-assessments. When there is another person involved, such as a conversation partner, we may be more cautious and self-critical than in situations when we are rating our own qualities with no other source of input.

“We’re self-protectively pessimistic and do not want to assume the other likes us before we find out if that’s really true,” Clark said.

This self-monitoring may prevent us from pursuing relationships with others who truly do like us.

“As we ease into new neighborhood, build new friendships, or try to impress new colleagues, we need to know what other people think of us,” Boothby and Cooney explain. “Any systematic errors we make might have a big impact on our personal and professional lives.”

This article was republished from Prevent Disease.

See also:
You Can ‘Pick Up’ A Good Or Bad Mood From Your Friends
Want Better Sleep? Spend Face-To-Face Time With Your Friends And Family

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

February 19, 2019

Excitement and motivation are intense. As the Sun dives more deeply into Pisces, the visionary Sign of the Fishes, the Moon gets busy. Luna starts the day in regal Leo. By late morning she’s in diligent Virgo and exactly Full. Mental Mercury is conjunct…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

February 2019

Celebrating The Love And Valentine’s Week! Come detox, relax and get your romance or couples readings while you recharge in our sanctuary! We have a fun line up of readers and healers...

Cost: 3 service special - $60, single service- $25

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd
Unit A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey Smith
Website »

More information

Our outer world is a reflection of what lies within our collective inner worlds. By directing our thoughts in specific, positive ways, we have the potential to guide the world towards becoming a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Inner Space Meditation Center & Gallery
1110 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA  02138
View map »


Telephone: 617-547-1110
Website »

More information

Three weekly workshops with Ayal will be offered on February 10, 17, 24 from 10:30 to 11:30am In this meeting, we will talk about sleep and remind or teach simple techniques for an easier...

Cost: $20

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

MBSR: Mindful Based Stress Reduction Learn how to tap into your inner well of strength, peace, and ease. Mindfulness, as taught in the MBSR program, is recognized worldwide as the gold...

Cost: Free

Where:
Enlightened Interventions
25 Union St.
Worcester, MA  01608
View map »


Sponsor: The Center for Resilient Living
Telephone: 508-556-7022
Contact Name: Ginny Wholley
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wednesday, February 20th–Saturday, February 23rd 9am-3pm each day Experience transformation guided by Mother Mary. Through Divine vibration, you will be aligned for quicker healing and...

Cost: $500

Where:
, MA


Sponsor: The LoveLight Center
Telephone: (207) 216-9584
Contact Name: Cheryl Banfield

More information

Discover how you can release tight muscles and improve range of motion in locked joints in a weekly ESSENTRICS stretch classes led by Raindrop Fisher, certified Essentrics instructor. Raindrop is a...

Cost: $10 drop-in / $100 for 12 classes

Where:
Village at Waterman Lake
Function Room - Chalet Bldg
715 Putnam Pike
Greenville, RI  02828
View map »


Sponsor: Healthier Fit Lifestyle
Telephone: 401-678-0950
Contact Name: Raindrop Fisher
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

ESSENTRICS with Raindrop is a dynamic, one-hour, slow-movement stretch and strengthening class that uses all the muscles of the body to liberate stiff joints and rebalancing the body so that you...

Cost: $5 donation

Where:
Pascoag Public Library
57 Church Street
Pascoag, RI  02859
View map »


Sponsor: Healthier Fit Lifestyle
Telephone: 401-678-0950
Contact Name: Raindrop Fisher
Website »

More information

This 8 week series in Tai Chi will provide you with everything you need to get started in a personal Tai Chi practice. Just for Beginners—there is no expectation, and no pressure in...

Cost: $137 for 8 weeks

Where:
Spiral Path Connections
218 Boston Street
Unit 104
Topsfield, MA  01983
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiral Path
Telephone: 978-314-4264
Contact Name: Johanna Hattendorf
Website »

More information

With Sherri Snyder-Roche. This yoga workshop will explore self-compassion, self-love and pushing through discomfort to help your recovery process. Recovery from divorce, eating disorders,...

Cost: $95 for 6 weeks or $17 drop in

Where:
State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
104 E. Hartford Avenue, Unit A
Uxbridge, MA  01569
View map »


Telephone: 508-278-2818
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

“Master your breath, let the self be in bliss, contemplate on the sublime within you.” —Krishnamacharya Join us for an evening of deep exploration and transformation using the...

Cost: $30 (some hardship rates available)

Where:
Spontaneous Celebrations
45 Danforth Street
Jamaica Plain, MA  02130
View map »


Telephone: 617-233-6410
Contact Name: Allen Howell, M.Ed.LMHC
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Great readings at a great rate - only $20 for 15 minutes. Join us for a great day with lots of specials too! Featuring Amit’s Tibetan Singing Bowls and Silver Jewelry Sale!...

Cost: $20 for a 15 minute reading

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street
Suite 1-A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

This workshop will be a wonderful and interactive experience for parents and their child. You will:  1. Learn the importance of developing focus through basic mindfulness exercises....

Cost: $40

Where:
Sohum Yoga and Meditation Studio
30 Lyman Street, Suite 108B
Westborough shopping center
Westborough, MA  01581
View map »


Sponsor: www.SOHUM.org
Telephone: 508-329-3338
Contact Name: Ritu Kapur
Website »

More information

Join us as we herald in the month of love with the archangels! It will be an evening of healing and soul replenishment. Our event will open with a brief message of love and support from the...

Cost: $40

Where:
private office
North Andover, MA  01845


Sponsor: Diana Harris
Telephone: 978-973-6637
Contact Name: Diana Harris
Website »

More information

6 Saturdays 10am–11:30am February 23–March 30, 2019 Taijiquan (Tai Chi ) is a healing martial art, using breath and movement together to strengthen the body and quiet...

Cost: $120

Where:
Metta Wellness
679 Pleasant Street
Paxton, MA  01612
View map »


Sponsor: Metta Wellness
Telephone: 774-245-5487
Contact Name: Rick Rocha
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags