Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Scientists reveal the ultimate way to bond with people and make new friends

glee-cast.jpg

Ever wondered about the best technique to bond with your new colleagues, or your new partner’s mates? Perhaps a good old fashioned pub sesh with plenty of tipple, or a movie night...

Think again.

According to a new study by Oxford University, singing is the best way to bond and make new friends.

But before you launch your dulcet tones on those around you, they’re not talking about just screeching along to the latest Taylor Swift song in the middle of the office. The study found that those who took part in a weekly singing class grew closer with one another faster, than people taking creative writing or art classes together.

Researchers at the university got together with the Worker’s Educational Association and followed over 100 participants whilst they partook in weekly singing, art, and creative writing classes around the UK, to find what activities would best facilitate bonding.

friends

After several months, the team was asked to rate how close they felt to their classmates before and after sessions.

After one month, those who did singing classes reported feeling two points closer to their classmates after a session, whereas those who did art or writing classes only reported feeling 0.5 of a point closer to classmates.

After 7 months, though, the ratings of all classes had evened out.

Evolutionary Neuroscientist, Eiluned Pearce, said that the results showed that, although these creative classes caused people to create bonds, singing was the quickest way to get close to people, because it’s a great ice breaker.

Writing in the journal Royal Society Open Science, Pearce says:

“Singing seems to break the ice so you have this big upfront kick start to the process of social bonding.”

Usually, in order to bond with someone, one-on-one time is essential, but according to Pearce, singing bonds entire groups in unison, without the need for individual interactions. This is because synchronised actions and a joint group vision are need in order to successfully sing together. In this way, singing works to bond people faster because the group has one goal, as opposed to with art or writing where the focus is much more independent.

singing

This behaviour was probably a factor in the coming-together of people in early societies.

“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 says.

In the past, music has been shown to lower aggression, and improve mood. It also makes people more cooperative – which explains the bonding.

Singing can also allow for bonding within a much larger group than could occur at the pub where, for example, people are more likely to break-off into smaller sub-groups.

“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,” Pearce says.

So, now you’ll know what to do to ease tensions before your next company conference.

Go warm-up those pipes… 

Related

bm6.JPG

Best friend for hire: inside the world of a professional bridesmaid

11863298_371772623019674_3951473367637232711_n.jpg

Facebook page reveals what makes us happiest with daily illustrations

11402753_1007414519269279_2792948357530915562_o.jpg

This girl has been on a holiday for three years - and it sounds easy

pink.PNG

The important life lessons Cher Horowitz taught us

taylor-swift-friends.jpg

The secrets and science behind successful female friendships

rexfeatures_3350979a.jpg

Why having fewer friends in your 30s is a good thing

tamponfriends.jpg

Forever Friendship Tampons are the new BFF bracelets

SATC hero.JPG

The one free thing that’s proven to fight and prevent depression

cutie34.jpg

Meet the latest (inseparable) stars of Instagram

Comments

More

“How Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington gave my generation a voice"

The musician leaves a lasting legacy

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

The grossly sexist ads we can’t believe exist in the 21st century

From a Co-op egg to that deeply offensive Protein World poster

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

How your Love Island obsession is wreaking havoc with your health

Experts have genuinely issued a warning…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

Boots won’t cut morning-after pill price because we can’t be trusted

Cheaper emergency contraception? Unprotected sex party at ours, everyone!

by Amy Swales
21 Jul 2017

Did Japan’s First Lady pretend not to speak English to ignore Trump?

Akie Abe, we salute you.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

This 'Beer For Her' has managed to offend everyone on Twitter

Apparently womankind can only ever drink from pink receptacles

by Megan Murray
21 Jul 2017

This Instagram account is aiming to break the miscarriage taboo

Women are coming together to share their stories of loss

by Megan Murray
21 Jul 2017

Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who salary revealed after gender pay gap row

And it may surprise you…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Jul 2017

Quiz: which famous duo are you and your work wife?

It’s time to find out, once and for all, who you and your work wife really are…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Jul 2017

You’ve been making your tea wrong this whole time, reveal tea experts

Wait, what?

by Jasmine Andersson
20 Jul 2017