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Study finds chatting with strangers on commutes makes us happier

Do you chat with strangers on your TTC commutes? If so, you may be happier than those who quietly endure the daily ritual without any sort of verbal engagement.

That’s the finding after behavioural scientists tracked commuter habits and responses.

Some of the participants were instructed to connect with a stranger near them, while others were to remain disconnected, or commute as they normally would without any specific instruction.

“In both contexts, participants reported a more positive (and no less productive) experience when they connected than when they did not,” the report, published by the American Psychological Association found.

Despite the findings, the study concluded that most people ignore each other because they wrongfully assume that solitude “is a more positive experience than interacting with strangers, or people misunderstand the consequences of distant social connections.”

“This mistaken preference for solitude stems partly from underestimating others’ interest in connecting, which in turn keeps people from learning the actual consequences of social interaction,” the study concluded.