People tend to underestimate how much they would enjoy having aconversation with a stranger.
A study found thatpeople incorrectly believed that their conversations would become more and moredull and awkward over time as they "run out of things to talk about".Instead, conversations lasting up to half an hour resulted in eitherstable or increasing levels of enjoyment.
Researchersconducted five laboratory experiments, which included 1,093 participants intotal.
When"these strangers... were instructed to continue their conversations, theyreported having more topics to discuss than they anticipated, and enjoyedthemselves more than they expected as well. That is, people underestimated howmuch they would enjoy themselves as their conversations continued.”
Theresearchers found that participants who were asked towrite down a few topics to discuss with their study partner prior to theirconversation tended to have more accurate expectations.
In a finalexperiment, the researchers found that participants who were required tocontinue talking for 25 minutes reported significantly greater enjoymentcompared to those who were able to cut their conversation short.