Can Talking To Strangers Help With Depression?

Can Talking To Strangers Ease Depression

Mental Health News

A group of researchers at the University of Sussex explored how talking to strangers can reduce depression. The study is published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The Study

The researchers recruited participants on a weekly basis. The latter played a scavenger hunt game using a mobile app called GooseChase. They then had to talk to a stranger or simply observe the stranger.

After the experiment, they completed “General” and “Daily” surveys. They also answered pre-conversation and post-conversation questionnaires that assessed their moods, social connection, attitudinal and behavioral changes, etc.

The Findings: Talking to strangers helps your mental health

The results revealed that talking to strangers improves social skills and reduces risks of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. It also reduces maladaptive social cognition, fears of bad experiences, and social anxiety.

The researchers hoped that the benefits of “talking to strangers” could be incorporated into non-pharmacological interventions to treat mental illness.

To Know More You May Refer To

Sandstrom, G. M., Boothby, E., & Cooney, G. (2021). Talking to strangers – A week-long intervention reduces psychological barriers to social connection.

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