If science says so, it must be true
Well, this news has perked us right up. According to science (and by science, we mean a new study by Oxford University), singing with new people is the best way to bond quickly.
Researchers watched 100 people and found that those who took part in a weekly singing class became closer to each other much faster than those taking other classes, like art or creative writing.
When asked to rate how close they felt to their classmates, the singers were nearly two points closer to their new friends than the artists and writers, who felt just half a point closer to theirs.
Eventually, the results evened out – so while singing together doesn’t mean you’ll be better friends in the long run, it certainly means you’ll get there quicker. Anyone up for a karaoke outing this weekend?
Evolutionary neuroscientist Eiluned Pearce, who co-authored the study, said: ‘Singing seems to break the ice so you have this big upfront kick start to the process of social bonding. If you think about our evolutionary ancestors, you could imagine some kind of singing ritual to bond groups together very quickly so they could then take part in some sort of collective activity like hunting.’
Pearce also said that singing should be used to encourage community bonding, saying: ‘This might suggest that what we should be doing at the beginning of the school year or before a business meeting is getting groups to sing together to grease the way for better social relationships. Of course, we’d have to collect more data to see if that actually works.’
More data, and videos please. Watching a stuffy room of suits singing along to some chart hits to enable closer bonding would make our week.