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February 19, 2016

Oxford University research finds singing is a 'bonding behaviour'

The Independent (UK):

Singing acts as a “bonding behaviour” among adults, making it easier for people to make new friends, psychologists at Oxford University have found.

A study published in the Royal Society’s Open Science journal watched how strangers’ relationships progressed over several months of creative writing, craft and singing classes.

Out of seven courses, the singers became closer much quicker – a result attributed the ice-breaking “power of a good sing-song”.

Dr Eiluned Pearce, who led the research at Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, said: “One of the key differences between humans and other primates is that we can exist in much larger social groups.

"Singing is found in all human societies and can be performed to some extent by the vast majority of people. It’s been suggested that singing is one of the ways in which we build social cohesion when there isn’t enough time to establish one-to-one connections between everyone in a group.

“We wanted to explore whether there was something special about singing as a bonding behaviour or whether any group activity would build bonds between members.”

“The difference between the singers and the non-singers appeared right at the start of the study,” Dr Pearce said.

“In the first month, people in the singing classes became much closer to each other over the course of a single class than those in the other classes did.

“Singing broke the ice better than the other activities, getting the group together faster by giving a boost to how close classmates felt towards each other right at the start of the course.”

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Posted by acapnews at February 19, 2016 12:00 AM

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