Psychology

Shared knowledge as the basis of friendship

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Science  19 Feb 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6275, pp. 828-829
DOI: 10.1126/science.351.6275.828-e

Shared musical likes pave the way to friendship

PHOTO: © F1ONLINE DIGITALE BILDAGENTUR GMBH/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

How do children choose potential friends? Soley and Spelke explored this question through the creation of a site where 5-year-old children could press a button signifying with which other children they wanted to be friends. The information the researchers provided to these friend-makers was whether their potential friends liked particular songs, some of which the choosing children had not even heard. The children preferred to become friends with children whose favorite songs they knew and not those whose songs they didn't know. Thus, shared knowledge can lead to friendship, even at an early age.

Cognition 148, 106 (2016).

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