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Oct 2, 2019

Those small interactions you have with strangers have quite a few hidden benefits!

A Happier Year is now available —  an illustrated calendar with 366 science-based actions. Use the code "happycastlistener" for 10% off at checkout on

[00:42] Talk to strangers on your commute, it’ll make you happier

[07:15] Little social interactions make us happier

[09:19] Introverts still need to talk 

[11:45] Affective forecasting, the reason we don’t think we’ll enjoy eating spaghetti 

[13:28] Smile at strangers, it makes them feel included

[14:18] Put your phone down, you’ll smile more


  • Epley, N., & Schroeder, J. (2014). Mistakenly Seeking Solitude, Journal of Experimental Psychology, 143(5), 1980–1999.
  • Sandstrom, G. M., & Dunn, E. W. (2014). Is Efficiency Overrated?: Minimal Social Interactions Lead to Belonging and Positive Affect, Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(4), 437–442.
  • Zelenski, J. M., Whelan, D. C., Nealis, L. J., Besner, C. M., Santoro, M. S., & Wynn, J. E. (2013). Personality and Affective Forecasting : Trait Introverts Underpredict the Hedonic Benefits of Acting Extraverted, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104(6), 1092–1108.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Cardoso, F. D., Slater, S., & Williams, K. D. (2012). To Be Looked at as Though Air : Civil Attention Matters. Psychological Science, 23(2) 166 –168.
  • Kushlev, K., Hunter, J. F., Proulx, J., Pressman, S. D., & Dunn, E. (2019). Computers in Human Behavior Smartphones reduce smiles between strangers. Computers in Human Behavior, 91, 12–16.


Huge thanks to Ashley for suggesting this week's topic! :)