Aleks Krotoski, BBC Science Focus, finds out that a virtual connection can be as real and important as one in the flesh. October 2020.
Research is most exciting when it throws up something contrary to popular belief. My field, psychology, has a reputation for finding things that confirm what we already know about ourselves – behaviour like preferring to hang out with people who are like us, or trusting someone we believe is credible – and maybe that’s why people like it.
But when science comes out with something unexpected, like the famous finding that logical and respectable people will do terrible things to other humans when in the presence of a commanding authority, that’s when things get interesting.
The internet is full of these funny contradictions. For example, who would have thought that you can feel a real and important connection with someone you’ve never met in the flesh?