Be a matchmaker this Valentine's for super joy
Love to play the role of a matchmaker on Valentine's? It can bring you the utmost happiness.
According to new research, matchmaking brings intrinsic happiness to the matchmaker.
And to maximise the psychological benefits of matchmaking, you should take care to introduce two people who not only seem compatible but who would be unlikely to meet otherwise, say researchers.
"At some point, most people have made matches between others - like grabbing two strangers by the arm at a party and introducing them to each other - or can think of a friend notorious for their efforts to make introductions," said Lalin Anik, a postdoctoral fellow at North Carolina-based Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.
Rising popularity of social networking websites has made matchmaking effortless and central to social life, she added.
Anik conducted an in-depth investigation of modern-day matchmaking, examining what motivates us to match others - even when it often goes wrong - and how we can reap the emotional benefits of socially linking others.
"Participants who made matches between others for free persisted on the matchmaking task much longer than participants who were offered money," explained Anik.
These results challenge the rising trend of online social networks providing financial incentives for people to make introductions.
Making matches between people who are already likely to be members of the same social network is not as rewarding as making matches between people less likely to be in the same network, said the study.
"Matchmakers may be proud that they have the social acumen to recognise a social link that others hadn't."
In addition, people may enjoy matchmaking because they view it as an act of kindness.
Matches should be made with the goal of creating meaningful connections, said the study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
(Posted on 11-02-2014)