Trust, Vitamin S, and Well-Being
On February, 20 we published a new podcast where our host, Severin de Wit, interviews Paul van Lange, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Section of Social Psychology at the VU University at Amsterdam, and Distinguished Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.
Professor Van Lange discusses the importance of social contact, which he and his co-author Simon Columbus of the University of Copenhagen frame in terms of “Vitamin S”, arguing that brief encounters with strangers can yield some happiness, an insight that is important for (young) adults during this era of COVID-19 lockdowns. He views trust in terms of accepting dependence on others and anticipating some critical level of pro-sociality from others. Norm violations by other people pose a challenge to trust, including norm violations enacted by strangers. Yet most people have developed a capacity to navigate to a relatively high level of trust, a default that we are often are not aware of. Like well-being, we start to wonder about trust in others when it is seriously challenged by others’ norm-violations. Various other intriguing questions are addressed. For example, what are the benefits of one-on-one interactions in pairs over interactions in larger groups? Why do we seek interactions with like-minded people? And why do we sometimes disclose more private information with a taxi-driver than with a friend?
In the interview (see on this blog under “podcasts” in the top menu) three authors are mentioned as well as an upcoming academic article, written by Paul van Lange and his colleague at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, Simons Columbus (also known as Simon Hadlich):
Van Lange, P., & Columbus, S. (2021, in press). “Vitamin S: Why is Social Contact, Even with Strangers, so Important to Well-Being?”, Current Directions in Psychological Science. Preprint available at https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/jaxck
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on Professor Paul van Lange.
All podcasts are being audio-edited by Job Dijk of Steigerstudios in Veenendaal, The Netherlands