Life is bet­ter with a visit to the lo­cal

Tweed Daily News - - LIFE -

A NEW re­port shows that in­di­vid­u­als who have a ‘lo­cal’ ho­tel or li­censed club are more likely to be sat­is­fied with their life, and have broader friend­ship and sup­port net­works.

So­cial-per­son­al­ity psy­chol­o­gist Dr Peter Jona­son from the Univer­sity of Western Sydney, who con­ducted the re­search on be­half of Lion Beer Aus­tralia, said that the so­cial in­ter­ac­tion pro­vided by pubs and clubs has a tremen­dous im­por­tance in peo­ple’s lives.

“Of more than 1,200 Aus­tralians that we sur­veyed, those who had a ‘lo­cal’ scored more pos­i­tively on a num­ber of mea­sures of men­tal and so­cial well­be­ing,” Dr Jona­son said.

“Set­ting aside for a mo­ment the de­bate around al­co­hol con­sump­tion and phys­i­cal health, it ap­pears that hav­ing a ‘lo­cal’ can be good for your state of mind”.

Dr Jona­son said that for many peo­ple, their lo­cal pub or club ful­fils an evo­lu­tion­ary need for hu­man con­tact in a society where such in­ter­ac­tions are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly hard to find.

“The abil­ity to shake hands and put an arm around a friend are es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ents for cop­ing with stress.

“‘Lo­cals’ are a place where peo­ple can seek out so­cial sup­port, via phys­i­cal con­tact and in­ti­mate in­ter­ac­tions, when they have nowhere and no one else to turn to.”

Key find­ings of the re­search are as fol­lows:

1. Peo­ple who have a lo­cal are more trust­ing and sat­is­fied with life.

2. They also have broader friend­ship and sup­port net­works, and iden­tify more closely with their com­mu­nity.

3. Most peo­ple who have a lo­cal say they use it for so­cial­is­ing and drink­ing with other peo­ple.

Only six per­cent of peo­ple said they drank there alone.

4. Beer is the most com­monly con­sumed bev­er­age for those who have a lo­cal

5. Women and men ap­pear to so­cialise in their lo­cals in dif­fer­ent ways, with men more likely to en­gage in in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tions and women more likely to con­verse in larger groups.

The re­search ex­pands on a sim­i­lar study con­ducted in UK by Ox­ford aca­demic Pro­fes­sor Robin Dun­bar, who was also in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of this study.

The re­search com­bined an on­line sur­vey of 1,200 ran­domly se­lected par­tic­i­pants, weighted to match the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion, with an ob­ser­va­tional study of con­ver­sa­tional dy­nam­ics in li­censed venues across the coun­try.

Re­search shows that peo­ple who have a lo­cal ho­tel or club are mre likely to be satisi­fied in life with broader friend­ship and sup­port net­works.

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