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March 07, 2010

Idle talk can make unhappy

A new study claims that, idle chit chat can make people unhappy.

Idle talk can make you unhappyA team of American psychologists from the University of Arizona studied if happy & unhappy people differed because of the types of conversations they had. They asked a team of volunteers to wear an unobtrusive device called an Electronically Activated Recorder for four days, as part of their project.

The device recorded 30 seconds of sounds every 12 minutes, even while the people had conversations with friends and colleagues.In the end, it was noted that the happiest participants indulged in more deep and meaningful conversations. Also, they engaged in one third as much small talk as the unhappiest participants.

"These findings suggest that the happy life is social & conversationally deep rather than solitary & superficial," the Daily Express quoted study co-author Matthias Mehl, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Arizona, as saying.

The study further noted that the happiest participants spent 25% less time alone & 70% more time talking than the unhappiest.

The researchers said: "Just as self- disclosure can instil a sense of intimacy in a relationship, deep conversations may instil a sense of meaning in interaction with partners." The study has been published in the journal Psychological Science.

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