Anyone looking for scientific understanding of why book clubs are so popular, check out the July issue of Scientific American Mind. An article entitled “Skip the Small Talk: Meaningful Conversations Linked to Happier People” reports on a study of the relationship between conversation and happiness. It quotes one of the co-authors of the study, University of Arizona psychologist Matthias Mehl who says “the mere time a person spends in the presence of others is a good predictor of the person’s level of happiness.” According to the study, the happiest subjects also participated in a third as much small talk and had twice as many in-depth conversations as the most unhappy participants.
Of course, if you’re in a book club, you already knew that.
Read about the study online at http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=skip-the-small-talk