Next time you have a good conversation with somebody, try to pay attention to where your mind starts wondering afterward. After reading this quote, I’m willing to bet that you’ll start thinking about that person a little more in depth. What you do or don’t like about them, how you could have reacted differently towards them, how consistent or inconsistent their character is.
A college sophomore asked to do boring repetitive tasks in a psychology experiment in order to earn money to take someone on a date will start thinking, as soon as there is a break in the task, about the girl, the date, and whether or not she really likes him…we are interested in the social world because we are built to turn on the default network during our free time. In other words, if this network comes on like a reflex, it may nudge our attention toward the social world. And not just to other people as objects in our environment. Rather, the default network directs us to think about other people’s minds- their thoughts, feelings, and goals… It suggests that evolution, figuratively speaking, made a big bet on the importance of developing and using our social intelligence for the overall success of our species by focusing the brain’s free time on it.” -Matthew D. Lieberman (pg.18,19,20)