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Want a Meaningful Conversation? Cut the Small Talk

By Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, July 10, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- If you want to be happier, try having meaningful conversations.

A new study finds that quality conversation is associated with greater happiness, while small talk has no effect on mental state. The results were true for both introverts and extroverts.

The findings from the study of 486 people were published recently in the journal Psychological Science.

"We define small talk as a conversation where the two conversation partners walk away still knowing equally as much -- or little -- about each other and nothing else," said study co-author Matthias Mehl, a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona.

"In substantive conversation, there is real, meaningful information exchanged. Importantly, it could be about any topic -- politics, relationships, the weather -- it just needs to be at a more-than-trivial level of depth," Mehl said in a university news release.

It's not clear whether quality conversations actually make people happier, or if happier people are more likely to have quality conversations. And the study didn't prove cause and effect, so that's a question for future research.

Still, "I would like to experimentally 'prescribe' people a few more substantive conversations and see whether that does something to their happiness," Mehl said.

More information

Mental Health America outlines how to live your life well.

SOURCE: University of Arizona, news release, July 3, 2018

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=735517

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Mental Health
Happiness
Psychology
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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