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Lessons from the science of loneliness




Increased loneliness is linked to increased negativity, depressive thinking and heightened sensitivity, according to research by John Cacioppo and Louise Hawkley.
Increased loneliness is linked to increased negativity, depressive thinking and heightened sensitivity, according to research by John Cacioppo and Louise Hawkley.
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Science writer Robin Marantz Henig admitted recently that although she has a relatively full social calendar and a happy marriage, most of the people in her circle are closer with other people than they are with her.

Essentially, Henig confessed she suffers from loneliness. Searching for cures or answers in psychology research reveals that the worst symptoms of loneliness are also reinforcing causes. Increased loneliness is linked to increased negativity, depressive thinking and heightened sensitivity, according to research by John Cacioppo and Louise Hawkley.

And just how much pleasure do we get when socializing with negative, hypersensitive depressives? What is less bleak about this research is that it shows lonely people play a role in their situations and could play active roles in changing them. What is your experience with loneliness? Better yet, what is your cure?

Guest:

John Cacioppo, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Psychology; Director, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, The University of Chicago