Whilst studies have already shown that singing in small groups makes you happy. No-one had really looked at the effects in large choirs. Well, a study in 2015 did just that and found that whilst singing in small groups might make you happy. Singing in large choirs makes you even happier!
Understanding the study
The investigators in the Goldsmiths College study came to these conclusions by making comparisons between people singing in 10 small choirs and then coming together to sing as one large choir.
Most of the people in the small choirs were friends but didn’t know the people in the other choirs. This distinction was meant to eliminate any confounding factors. Such as feeling happier because you are spending time with some of your friends. Social bonding and pain tolerance were both measured during the experiment.
What was found?
The study found that after a 90-minute rehearsal, people’s sense of social bonding increased in both the small choirs and the aggregated choir. But this increase was larger in the aggregated choir than in the ten small choirs.
On the other hand, whilst pain tolerance, (which was measured by inflating a blood pressure cuff on their arm until it was very tight), reduced during the singing. This reduction was the same whether they sang in a small or a large choir.
Large choirs make you happier
- The investigators believed that an increase in social bonding led to making more friends.
- Increasing their enjoyment of singing in a large choir and creating a community feel.
- Anecdotal evidence from the choir’s singers revealed that when they came together as a large choir.
- They began to forge lasting friendships with people in the other nine smaller choirs.
- Raising their self-esteem and giving them an increased air of self-confidence.
It was suggested that singing in a large choir actually changed people’s lives for the better.