This Is What Your Friends’ Brains Look like when They’re Thinking of You

Most of you reading this have probably wondered, at least once, what your friends think of you, right?

And, according to new research on friendship and brain activity may provide the answers.

But, do we really want to know?

According to a study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, they used fMRIs for brain imaging a group of friends and discovered a similar brain activity when the person thought about their friends and when they thought about themselves.

How Was the Research Conducted?

The research team chose 11 friends to be participants.

The co-author of the study and assistant professor at the Ohio State University, Dylan Wagner, explains that these people were a very close group of friends from the same academic program who spend most of their time at the campus together, as well as outside of it.

For the purposes of their research, each of these people was given a questionnaire which required from them to rate themselves and their other friends in 48 different personality traits, including smart, nice, lonely, sad, and trustworthy.

In another session, they completed the evaluations while in a fMRI scanner.

 What Did the Results Show?

Surprisingly, the study found similar brain patterns between each of these people’s evaluation of themselves compared to the evaluations of their friends.

Friendships are vital to our good mental health and well being, but this study also notes a link between our self-esteem and our relationship with our friends.

When we feel good about ourselves, we also feel good about the people around us and will keep on these positive relationships going.

Robert Chaves, another co-author of the study, explains that every one of our friends sees a slightly distinct side of us.

When we put these sides together, it shows us how we see ourselves.




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