Now that it’s common for people to spend more time socialising on their phone than they do in person, it is interesting to think about the role and impact that one’s friends can have. How do our peers impact on how we think and behave?
There is a proverb that states “if you want to go quickly, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”. So does one’s social group impact on our development? Here are 6 reasons why people should choose their friends with care.
1. Work effort is contagious
When your friends work hard, you work harder. Research has shown that work-ethic is contagious. Researchers found that when a student works on a task near someone else who is working hard on theirs, it prompts them to raise their efforts. Friends act as great motivators to help you achieve your goals. So, if you have a friend that is working hard to achieve something, there’s a high chance you’ll follow suit.
2. Friends can improve intelligence
Can our friends actually make us more intelligent? Well, evidence now indicates that your childhood best friends can heavily influence your future IQ scores. Our intelligence test scores will be highly correlated and impacted by those who we surrounded ourselves with in early life. This research further highlights the importance of building a good team around you.
3. Friends can better our learning
Research has found that, when teenagers had to complete a task that requires them to figure out an answer, they are more likely to do so when working in groups. This was attributed to them engaging in more ‘exploratory behaviours’ than if they had to do the task by themselves.
Risk taking behaviour was also seen to increase in players that were observed by peers. The study also concluded that the late adolescents who were observed by peers learnt faster from task feedback, and thus improved their game performance more effectively than those who were tested alone.
4. Friends can impact our mood
Our friends can annoy us sometimes, but on the whole they’re our friends for a reason. Those reasons are different for everyone, but our friends play an important role in our mood regulation. A recent study has shown that our social networks have the ability to considerably improve our mood and well-being. For more information on this, check out our blog on 7 ways to get out of a bad mood.
5. Friendships promote resilience
Friends act as a great safety net. They provide us with a shoulder to lean on, a getaway from our family and an abundance of jokes and laughs. Research has shown that this social support essential to sustaining good psychological and physical health. Friends have the ability to reduce stress and provide us different coping strategies to develop our resilience.