When Ali Birra and Efrem Tamiru met

There is often a sense of obligation and guilt in family relationships. The remedy for life’s burdens, on the other hand, is friends.
What is the power of friendship? The University of Virginia conducted a study to determine whether friendship affects how we approach daily challenges. On the university campus, researchers conducted an unusual experiment where they stood at the bottom of a steep hill (a 26 degree incline) and requested the assistance of 34 students as they passed by. Some students were walking alone, while others were doing so in pairs. Each student received a backpack containing weights that were roughly 20% of their body weight. The students may have believed they would have to climb the hill, but all the researchers asked them to do was calculate how steep of a climb it would be. Notably, students who were standing alone thought the slope of the hill was steeper and that it would be more difficult to climb while carrying a heavy pack. However, students who were standing next to a friend gave lower estimates of the hill’s steepness because they thought it looked easier to climb. It was interesting to note that the hill seemed less steep the longer the two friends had known one another. Other studies back up the idea that having social support makes it easier to handle stress. Female college students’ heart rates increased when they were given difficult math problems to solve. However, their heart rates were lower when they were asked to work on the math problems with a friend present.

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