Matchmaking and Happiness Lalin Anik Michael I. Norton Duke University Harvard Business School April 10, 2013 Generosity and Well-Being - Warwick University Overview Understand the psychology of matchmaking Why do people make matches between others? Intrinsically rewarding Pays in the form of increased well-being Connecting Yourself to Others YOU Connecting People to Each Other YOU Overview Correlational Evidence Matchmaking in the lab Matchmaking is intrinsically rewarding Type of network tie as a moderator Who finds matchmaking most rewarding? Study 1: Correlational Evidence Question: Do self-reports of propensity to connect others relate to well-being? Method: N = 281, 51% female, Mage = 40.5, SD = 16.6 Four measures Propensity to connect others Perceived success Network size Well-being (Diener et al., 1985) Propensity to Make Matches Propensity to connect others (Cronbach’s α = .81) I introduce my acquaintances to each other I introduce my friends to each other I set up my friends on dates I am a resource for people around me to find social and professional connections 4-point scale (1: not at all true of me to 4: very true of me). Perceived Success Perceived success (Cronbach’s α = .82) How good are you at connecting your friends with each other? How good are you at connecting your acquaintances with each other? How good are you at setting up your friends on dates? 10-point scale (1: not at all good at it to 4: extremely good at it) What percent of these dates are successful? Network Size & Well-being Network size Number of acquaintances Number of friends Diener, Emmons, Larsen, and Griffin’s (1985) well-being scale (Cronbach’s α = .85) Study 1: Results Well-Being Propensity to make matches r = .31 p < .001 Perceived success at matches r = .31 p < .001 Well-Being Propensity to make matches β = .20 p < .02 Perceived success at matches β = .17 p < .05 Number of friends & acquaintances Overview Correlational Evidence Matchmaking in the lab Matchmaking is intrinsically rewarding Type of network tie as a moderator Who finds matchmaking most rewarding? Study 2: Matchmaking in the Lab What is the causal impact of matchmaking on happiness? Does the matchmaking task matter? Method N = 118, 61% female, Mage = 22.5, SD = 4.4 Two measures Pre and post-matching happiness Study 2: Method Pre-matching Happiness Warm-up Task (adapted from Morewedge et al . 2007) Warm-up Task Name Place of birth Occupation Hobbies Study 2: Method Match Pre-matching Happiness Warm-up Task Mismatch Random “Look around the room and…” Match Match pairs of people who you think would get along well Mismatch Match pairs of people who you think would not get along well Random Match pairs of people who you think have the most similar last two digits of their social security numbers “the pairs you selected will actually interact in the next part of the experiment” Study 2: Method Match Pre-matching Happiness Warm-up Task Mismatch Random Post-matching Happiness Study 2: Results 12 ** Well-being 11 10 Pre-matching Post-matching 9 8 7 6 Match Mismatch Random F(2, 115) = 6.22, p = .003, ŋp² = .10. Overview Correlational Evidence Matchmaking in the lab Matchmaking is intrinsically rewarding Type of network tie as a moderator Who finds matchmaking most rewarding? Study 3: Matchmaking is Intrinsically Rewarding Computer task (Study 2: interaction in the lab) Task persistence (Study 2: happiness) Method N = 168, 54% female, Mage = 21.6 SD = 3.8 One measure Number of trials completed Face Task Match Appearance Letter Task Condition 1: Match Who do you think would get along best with the focus person? Condition 2: Appearance Who do you think looks most like the focus person? 2 X 3 Design Free Match X 1¢ Appearance 2¢ Study 3: Results 35 Free Trials completed 30 31.1 25 26.27 20 15 20.25 20.18 14.82 17.07 10 5 0 Appearance Match 1¢ 2¢ Could these differences in task persistence and change in happiness be explained by the feeling of success? Quick mTurk study (N=114) Match Pre-matching Happiness Mismatch Post-matching Happiness Perceived success Appearance (1: very unhappy 7: very happy) 10 trials (1: very unsuccessful 7: very successful) Quick mTurk study (N=114) Replicated happiness results Boost for match, decline for mismatch and appearance tasks No difference across perceived success, F(2, 113) = 1.30, p = .28 Overview Correlational Evidence Matchmaking in the lab Matchmaking is intrinsically rewarding Type of network tie as a moderator Who finds matchmaking most rewarding? Study 4: Type of Ties Does the type of connection between people impact the matchmaker’s well-being? Bonding Medium Bridging Study 4: Type of Ties Does the type of connection between people impact the matchmaker’s well-being? Method N = 132, 49.2% female, Mage = 21.1, SD = 3.6 One measure Number of pairings done Matching Task Sex and Race: • Female vs. Male • Caucasian vs. Asian Caucasian Female Caucasian Male Asian Female Asian Male Boring Task Caucasian Female Caucasian Male Study 4: Type of Ties Caucasian Male Caucasian Male Bonding Caucasian Female Caucasian Female Medium Bridging Same Sex Same Race: Bonding Study 4: Type of Ties Caucasian Male Caucasian Female Caucasian Female Caucasian Male Bonding Medium Caucasian Female Asian Female Caucasian Male Asian Male Bridging Same Sex Different Race: Medium Different Sex Same Race: Medium Study 4: Type of Ties Caucasian Male Asian Female Bonding Medium Bridging Caucasian Female Asian Male Different Sex Different Race: Bridging Study 4: Results Same sex same race Different sex same race Same sex different race Different sex different race 25.03 19.33 19.97 Medium Medium 13.28 Bonding Number of connections made F(3, 128) = 2.85, p < .05 Bridging Study 4: Type of Ties Same Sex Same Race Bonding Same Sex Different Race Different Sex Same Race Medium Different Sex Different Race Bridging People prefer to connect people who might otherwise not know each other. Overview Correlational Evidence Matchmaking in the lab Matchmaking is intrinsically rewarding Type of network tie as a moderator Who finds matchmaking most rewarding? Study 5: Need for Network Closure Intolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty (Kruglanski 1989) Structural holes are less stable and more unpredictable (Burt, 2001) High NFC individuals: Stay in unhappy relationships (Rempala 2009) Assume a tie between other individuals due to desire for “social rules” (Flynn et al. 2010) Study 5: Need for Network Closure Method N = 179, 47.0% female, Mage = 25.6, SD = 4.7 Two measures Number of trials completed Need for closure The Need for Closure scale (Webster and Kruglanski 1994) I do not like situations that are uncertain Study 5: Method Match Need For Closure Appearance Study 5: Results Number of Trials Completed 25 20 15 10 Appearance Match Matching Conditions t(155) = 2.37, p = .02 Number of Trials Completed Study 5: Results Appearance Condition Match Condition NFC (-1 SD) NFC (+1 SD) 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 β = .15 vs .69** Conclusions Real world matchmaking is correlated with happiness. Inducing people to make matches between strangers increased happiness in the moment Matchmaking with the belief of forming meaningful relationships is intrinsically rewarding The type of ties and need for network closure are important moderators Conclusions Making matches between others provides a happiness boost: Happiness scale Persistence on matchmaking Brokers stand between others but they also gain a different pay-off Social Capital at Multi-Level “He has social capital” “That town is high in social capital” Thank you!