The Scientific Evidence For Throwing A Last Minute New Year’s Eve Bash

12.31.18 5 months ago


We love throwing New Year’s Eve parties. Gathering all of our best friends together, picking the food, drinks, and music, saving tons of money — it all just makes for a fun and unforgettable night. But we also get that there are concerns about party throwing, like clean up, bad guests, and how much prep is involved.

If you’re on the fence — wondering if throwing a New Year’s party is worth the hassle — we’re here to tell you that science backs us up on this one. Yes, science LOVES PARTIES. And who are you to not listen to science, the president? Studies show throwing a New Year’s Eve party is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for a fantastic 2019.

Here’s why:

Planning an event extends the pleasurable feelings associated with it.

Think about the things that you most look forward to — holidays, birthday parties, the first time you kiss someone you’re attracted to… The actual event might be fun, but the lead up is often even better. All that building of excitement and anticipation leaves you filled with happy feelings for far longer than the few hours you actually experience the great thing itself. And a recent study, Looking forward, looking back: Anticipation is more evocative than retrospection backs this anecdotal evidence up.

Researchers measured participants emotions before and after big events and found that their feelings were far more intense before than after. Once something has passed, feelings tend to be more muted, regardless of how great it was. Planning, they found, can end up actually being more pleasurable than the party (and holds more power than the nostalgia we feel after). So putting together your own event gives you way more active participation in the lead-up excitement to New Year’s Eve. Your own party extends the New Year’s fun before it even starts.

Surrounding yourself with familiar faces may make you happier leading into the New Year.

While it can be fun to be one of many in an unfamiliar partying crowd, there’s something to be said about the satisfaction of just gathering your besties. A study from the University of California, San Diego concluded that we see familiar faces as happier and more pleasant than unfamiliar ones. Researchers had the participants look at completely neutral faces, some were unfamiliar, others they knew. And when scoring emotion on those faces, they consistently rated the familiar faces as happier than the others — even though both faces were objectively expressing the same emotions and to the same degree.

If you want a party that makes you buzz at a higher level of group happiness, there may not be any actual difference to the happiness of the crowd on the beach as compared to your friends at your party, but you’ll feel like there is. And that will carry you into 2019 feeling euphoric.

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