Friends and family love to support you when needed – but it is better if your supporters are close with each other, suggesting a new set of studies. Researchers found that people believed they had more support from a group of friends or family who all knew and liked each other than close relationships that were not linked. The results show that having a network of people is only part of us is beneficial to social support, said David Lee, who led the study at Ohio State University as a postdoctoral fellow in psychology.
“The more harmonious, the more you have this network, the more you think you can count on them for support,” said Lee, now an assistant professor of communications at the University of Buffalo. “It matters whether your friends can depend on each other, just like you depend on them,” Lee said. Lee studied with Joseph Baird, assistant professor of communications, and graduate student in psychology with Jonathan Stahl, both at Ohio State. His research was recently published online in the journal Social Psychology Quarterly. The researchers conducted two online studies. In one study, 339 people were asked to list eight people in their lives that they could go to for support in the last six months. Participants rated on a scale of 1 to 7 how much support they received from each individual. (Most were listed as friends or family members, but some also named coworkers, romantic colleagues, classmates or roommates).
For this study, participants were also asked on a scale of 1 to 7 how close each of their eight supporters are to each other (from “they don’t know each other” to “extremely close”). On those answers, the researchers calculated the density of each participant’s network – close to their friends and family and interconnected, condensing the network. The results showed that the more dense the network, the participants said they would be able to get from them. “We found that our support networks are more than the sum of their parts,” said Baer, who is a core faculty at Ohio State’s Translational Data Analytics Institute. “People who feel they have more social support in their lives can focus more on the collective support they feel than being part of a strong, harmonious group. It’s a real driving force, just like Is the opposite of a set of friends, ”said Byer.
A second study, which included 240 people, examined whether the density of social networks in a specific situation required people to help. In this case, participants were asked to list two different groups of four people they could visit if they needed support. One group consisted of four people who were not close to each other and the other group consisted of four people who were close to each other. Participants were then asked to imagine a scenario in which their home was torn down and they went to their network for support. Half of the people were asked to think of approaching four people who were not close to each other, while the other half envisioned reaching their four connected supporters.
The results showed that those who envisioned going into a tight-knit group of friends or family felt that they would receive more support than participants who were about to go to their unrelated friends Used to think The results also produced preliminary evidence of two psychological mechanisms that may help explain why people feel better supported by a tight-knit group of friends. In response to the survey questions, participants suggested that they think of their close friends or family group as a group. There was also the possibility of seeing a close-knit group as part of their identity. Both these factors were related to show more support, results.
Researchers said the results of both studies suggest that it is not the number of friends and family in your network that is important. “You may have two friends who are very supportive of both of you, but if they are both friends with each other, it helps you even more,” Stall said. On a practical level, this means that it is important that we think about friends when we need the most help or when we are feeling lonely in the middle of daily life. “Focus on friends who are connected to each other. This is where we truly experience the most support.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without textual modifications. Only the title has been changed.)
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