From birth to death, human beings are hardwired to connect to other human beings. Face-to-face contact matters: tight bonds of friendship and love heal us, help children learn, extend our lives, and make us happy. Looser in-person bonds matter, too, combining with our close relationships to form a personal “village” around us, one that exerts unique effects. Not just any social networks will do: we need the real, in-the-flesh encounters that tie human families, groups of friends, and communities together.
Susan Pinker is a developmental psychologist, columnist, and broadcaster who writes about social science. Her first book, The Sexual Paradox, was published in seventeen countries and was awarded the William James Book Award by the American Psychological Association.
Her new book is, The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter.
Originally aired October 2014.