In a recent study, we recruited people on their way into a busy, urban Starbucks with a $5 gift card. We asked some customers to “have a genuine interaction with the cashier,” smiling, making eye contact and having a brief conversation. Others were told to be as efficient as possible: Get in, get out, go on with the day.
Those who lingered for an extra moment left Starbucks feeling more cheerful and reported a greater sense of belonging. Efficiency, it seems, is overrated.
Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, “Hello, Stranger”, The New York Times (27 April 2014), SR7.