For many, love is the path to happiness. However, it isn’t the only way. While love is in the air, it may be the perfect time to fix up two single friends.
Lalin Anik a postdoctoral fellow at Fuqua, recently found that matchmaking could be the key to well-being, at least for some people, which could explain why so many try to do it.
“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,” says Anik.
She conducted a study, along with Michael Norton of the Harvard School of Business. They found that chronic matchmakers usually experience more positive emotion for their efforts.
In four studies, to be presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual conference in Austin, Texas, they used surveys, computer games and in-lab social interactions to show when and why making matches between others boosts happiness.
Anik and Norton found that for the best psychological boost, matchmakers should be sure to pair two people who are compatible and who wouldn’t have met otherwise. So, if you’re going to do it, you’d better be resourceful, and successful.
Anik says people may enjoy matchmaking because they view it as an act of kindness. Of course, ego plays a role too.
“People enjoy being the key person who made that critical match between newlyweds or between business partners who started a successful venture,” she says.