When my 5 year old son watches a cartoon and I’m in the room, he keeps checking to make sure I am watching it with him. Literally every few seconds he turns his head to check on me. It’s clear to me that he enjoys it a lot more if I am there to share in the laughs. So, even at a very young age people seem to enjoy things more if someone else experiences it with them.
My previous post on the topic.
It seems to at least be true for humor and light entertainment. I definitely enjoy comedies more at a movie theater or at home with friends than by myself.
I’m trying to understand it. I don’t think food tastes better if other people are eating and enjoying it with you (you might enjoy the company, but the food tastes the same). So why do things seem funnier if other people are laughing?
Tangentially related point: serious movies, movies that are kind of intense and emotional, I’d often rather watch alone. I agree with Jim Emerson that some movies are too personal to share with an audience.