Evo-Psych Savannah Guy Has A New Number:
So social drinking pub-man, fan of Real Ale, and Evolutionary Psychologist Dr. Robin Dunbar is out with another pronouncement.
It may not get as much press as his famous “Dunbar Number”,
Which is based on the Savannah Theory and guesses at the maximum # of social connections a person can handle (150).
But it may be just as important,
Especially for men who need to get out of the house, or at least kick the women out of the Man Cave…
Now All We Need Is A Cheers In The Kalahari:
So a lot of Dr. Dunbar’s work is based on how Evolution has shaped our psychology & brain-structure into what we are today.
-And as the Savannah Theory suggests, the forces that may have influenced it over time.
And the idea he’s come up with recently is a smaller version of it for men.
Social Drinking Is Preventative Medicine For Men:
Just like much of the advice on happiness, handling stress or living to 100,
Dunbar suggests that one-of, if not The key factor in long-term health for people is the quality of their connections to social-networks.
But not the ones online like Facebook.
What matters most is having a surprisingly-small network of people you can sit down with and just let your hair down.
The More Local It Is, The Better:
Now this might just be UK culture talking,
But his version of the idea states that it’s really important for a man’s actual health,
To have a pub he can go to and hang out with his friends at, for at-least twice a week.
The more local, and less downtown-city-style, the better.
The Social Drinking Group Size Has To Stay Small To Work:
Not only that, but the group size should be small.
According to the study data, the ideal size is no more than about 6-7 people.
Any more than that, and not enough people can get a word in edgewise,
People can’t chill-out as much,
And they just stop engaging in the conversation or even listening at all.
As-usual, in big cities, there just seems to be less time to do anything, so they engage less and are more likely to switch-off quicker.
Alcohol Helps, But Is It Mandatory?:
Now perhaps you don’t need to be a drinker,
But seeing as how Robin figured on the Local Pub being the primary social nexus,
He seemed to pick it as the most classic spot for this type of meetup.
There is probably no rule about having to go to a pub,
But the psychological functions of alcohol are theorized right in the intro to support many of the social benefits.
Those Benefits Include:
2) Life Satisfaction
3) Trust in Community
4) Existential Optimism
5) Sincere Empathizing With Others
6) Strength of Social Network
The Results Show It By As Much as 2:1:
And interestingly-enough, it also shows right in the results,
That people who do not drink were shown to report about 1/2 as much of all these social & life satisfaction stats as people who did drink.
Also in the results, people who frequented local pubs had about 50% higher scores than city-goers.
Note that the bulk of the conclusions focused only on Moderate alcohol consumption,
Strangely-enough, He also posits that anything that would engage the endorphin system and permit people to relax & bond the way alcohol does, is likely to be quickly-adapted by people,
Just Tell Her Oxford University Says So:
-And thus the likely initial reason for the organized agriculture of grains.
Why wait around for nearly-spoiled fruit when you can just roll your own?
Anyway, it’s an interesting take on local-pub-culture that combines with the very real health-science behind forming & maintaining high-quality social-networks, whether you’re an introvert or extravert.
So next time the women in your life give you flack for spending too much time out with your friends or in the Man Cave, just tell them a professor from Oxford University said social drinking was vital for men’s health. Cheers!
Photo Credits: “Cheers” TV Series opening credits publicity still by, James Burrows, Glen Charles, Les Charles, Paramount Network Television, and CBS Television Distribution
• Source: Oxford
• Source Study: AHBPsy – Functional Benefits of (Modest) Alcohol Consumption
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