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April 26, 2023

The Strength of Weaker Ties

The New York Times reported on the importance of “weak ties” — coworkers, neighbors, etc. — to our sense of belonging. Toni Antonucci found that the number of weak ties more strongly predicted well-being than did the number of strong ties: Weak ties “provide you with a low-demand opportunity for interaction. It’s cognitively stimulating. It’s engaging.”

Oliver Huxhold, Katherine L Fiori, Noah J Webster, and Toni C Antonucci (2020). The Strength of Weaker Ties: An Underexplored Resource for Maintaining Emotional Well-Being in Later Life. The Journals of Gerontology, Series B, 75(7): 1433-1442.