“Efficiency, it seems, is overrated”

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.