Psychology professor William Ickes found that our ability to read strangers during a six-minute interaction is limited, but other experiments showed that we have much greater accuracy when reading our friends’ behavior. That’s not really shocking, but what is surprising is that when study subjects spent just a little more time with a stranger, their ability to read that person was just as good as their ability to read close friends. The magic time span? Thirty minutes. Time, or at least the amount of information acquired over time, is crucial to empathy. That is not only the case for real-life encounters, but also for stories.
ideas that challenge / comfort / inspire