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How to live well: 9th meeting - social identity theory, strength of weak ties & Fredrickson's emotional resonance

 

                 "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."                                                                                                                            John Donne

How to live well: 7th meeting - relationships, roles, Dunbar, needs & dyads

 

           "Of all the means which wisdom acquires to ensure happiness throughout the whole of life,                                                                    by far the most important is friendship."           Epicurus

        "Friendship is the single most important factor influencing our health, well-being, and happiness."                                                            Robin Dunbar, Oxford emeritus professor of evolutionary psychology 

The surprising power of weak 'social ties'

I’ve just been to the Farmer’s Market here in Edinburgh and I set myself the challenge of being more chatty than usual to the stallholders I was buying food from.  I ‘pushed’ myself to be friendly & talk more than I’ve ever done before (and I’ve been going to the market intermittently for years) … and it was such fun.  Tender, bubbly, jokey, light.  And I had more of a spring in my step for hours afterwards.  And it didn’t mean that I took much longer doing the shopping than I usually do either.  And as one might have predicted, this ‘good mood’ and happy positivity then splashed over into my actions subsequently (see Barbara Fredrickson's 'Broaden-and-build theory' of the function of positive emotions and her comments about

Social networks: social identity & the importance of both formal & informal group memberships (what can we do?)

You never enjoy the world aright, till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars.

- Thomas Traherne

   Social networks: social identity & the importance of both formal & informal groups (what can we do?)

 

key points: 

the social identity model highlights the value of group membership (more & less formal) for both psychological & physical wellbeing - are there groups you would like to join (or initiate) and are there helpful ways you can increase the sense of the importance to you of some of the groups you're a member of (for example by increasing your involvement with them).

Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (assessing how we're doing)

“ My house having burnt down, nothing now impedes my bright vision of the moon. ” - Zen saying

                       Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (assessing how we're doing)

key points: 

 

1.)  Please would you download a personal community map (see below) and begin to fill it in. 

 

2.)  While filling in the map and afterwards, answer the items on the associated questionnaire ... and start to jot down possible intentions too.

 

Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (sympathy group & full active network)

“ We must all die. But that I can save (a person) from days of torture, that is what I feel as my great and ever new privilege. Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death himself. ” - Albert Schweitzer

               Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (sympathy group & full active network)

 

key point: 

 

Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (support clique/closest relationships)

“ No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ” - Aesop

                         Social networks: Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model (support clique/closest relationships)

key point: 

 

In this first part of three on Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 personal social network model, I introduce the crucially important inner layer - the 'support clique' of closest relationships.

 

Social networks: social identity & the importance of both formal & informal group memberships (background)

From the place where we are right/Flowers will never grow/In the spring.

The place where we are right/Is hard and trampled/Like a yard.

But doubts and loves/Dig up the world/Like a mole, a plow/And a whisper will be heard in the place/Where the ruined/House once stood.

 

- Yehuda Amichai

Social networks: social identity & the importance of both formal & informal group memberships (background)

 

key point: 

 

The intriguing additional value of understanding social networks through a social identity lens is highlighted and a wealth of emerging research validating the importance of this approach is introduced.

 

Social networks: an introduction

“ The vision must be followed by the venture.  It is not enough to stare up the steps - we must step up the stairs. ” - Vance Havner

                                                                Social networks: an introduction

 

key points: 

 

1.)  emerging research is introduced that highlights the great importance of personal social networks for disease prevention, psychological resilience & optimal wellbeing. 

 

2.)  links are provided to three ways of taking this forward - self-determination theory, social identity theory, and Dunbar's 5-15-50-150 model.

 

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