Strangers sex chat
Why do we think chatting to strangers will be so unpleasant?
To find out, the researchers approached more commuters on Chicago trains and buses.
A further interesting detail from the studies is that the pleasure of talking to strangers was observed for introverts and extraverts alike.
“Removing the barrier to starting a conversation, rather than trying to increase a person’s own trait extroversion, may therefore be the most effective way to encourage interactions with distant strangers,” the researchers said.
But soon strange avatars were coming up to us and “kissing” us, “touching” us and asking us to come to their hotel rooms where it carried on.
These findings contrasted starkly with the predictions made by the commuters who imagined taking part – they thought that being asked to engage with a stranger would have been the least enjoyable of the three conditions.
Epley and Schroeder said this provides evidence of a “severe misunderstanding of the psychological consequences of social engagement”, thus providing a clue as to why, despite being social animals, we so often ignore each other.
Note: people instructed to chat to their driver tended to report having more pleasant journeys, even if their usual habit was to sit in silence.
In a final study, the researchers attempted to address two issues – perhaps chatting to a stranger is only fun if you’re the one who initiates it, and/or perhaps the results were due in part to participants’ satisfaction at completing a goal set by the researchers.
If memories of bad experiences skew people’s perceptions, then being asked to imagine any conversation with a stranger should be negatively toned by default. Another possibility is that each of us mistakenly assumes that other people don’t want to talk, thus creating a situation of “pluralistic ignorance”.