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Sharing a good experience with another human deepens our enjoyment of the moment, but only if we abide by certain rules. Dr Laurie Santos shows us how we often get ’sharing’ wrong and explains how we can all derive more happiness from ice cream, sunsets and a night in front of the TV.

To learn more. . . 

Maryellis Bunn’s website

Erica Boothby website

Museum of Ice Cream website

Alix Barash website

Links to references from this episode:

“It’s October 5, 1833 and inventor William Henry Fox Talbot is annoyed.”

“On this Oct. 5th, 2010, another inventor, software engineer Kevin Systrom is just about to launch the new photosharing app he’s developed with partner Mike Krieger.”

“Maryellis Bunn is a young entrepreneur that many have called “the Millennial Walt Disney.”

Weiner, A. (2017). The Millenial Walt Disney. New York Magazine, October, 2017.

“In one study, psychologist Mike Tomasello and his colleagues brought parents and young toddlers into the lab and staged weird events.”

Liszkowski, U., Carpenter, M., Henning, A., Striano, T., & Tomasello, M. (2004). Twelve‐month‐olds point to share attention and interest. Developmental science, 7(3), 297-307.

“Erica devised a cool way to test this new idea— with a chocolate tasting.”

Boothby, E. J., Clark, M. S., & Bargh, J. A. (2014). Shared experiences are amplified. Psychological science, 25(12), 2209-2216.

“Scientists at McGill University had subjects stick their hand in super cold water, which hurts a ton.”

Martin, L. J., Hathaway, G., Isbester, K., Mirali, S., Acland, E. L., Niederstrasser, N., … & Sternberg, W. F. (2015). Reducing social stress elicits emotional contagion of pain in mouse and human strangers. Current Biology, 25(3), 326-332.

Erica told me about a study by another Cornell researcher Gus Cooney:

Cooney, G., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2014). The unforeseen costs of extraordinary experience. Psychological Science, 25(12), 2259-2265.

“I am the founder and CEO of the Museum of Ice Cream.”

“So Alix decided to study these questions, starting with memory.”

 Barasch, A., Diehl, K., Silverman, J., & Zauberman, G. (2017). Photographic memory: The effects of volitional photo taking on memory for visual and auditory aspects of an experience. Psychological science, 28(8), 1056-1066.

“People in the photo condition? They showed significantly more enjoyment.”

Diehl, K., Zauberman, G., & Barasch, A. (2016). How taking photos increases enjoyment of experiences. Journal of personality and social psychology, 111(2), 119.

“We actually showed that the benefits that you get from capturing photos are actually diminished or undermined when you take photos to share.”

Barasch, A., Zauberman, G., & Diehl, K. (2017). How the intention to share can undermine enjoyment: Photo-taking goals and evaluation of experiences. Journal of Consumer Research, 44(6), 1220-1237.

The Host

Dr. Laurie Santos

Dr. Laurie Santos is Professor of Psychology and Head of Silliman College at Yale University. Professor and podcast host Dr. Laurie Santos is an expert on human cognition and the…