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Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for…

Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection (2008)

by John T. Cacioppo, William Patrick

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We often see loneliness as a weakness. People who are lonely are seen as being needy because they cannot function well without social interaction. However in Loneliness by John T. Cacioppo we see that being lonely is as natural to humans as being hungry or thirsty. This compelling look at a hard to define emotion is really spot on about how debilitating loneliness is and how common it is. Loneliness is a survival mechanism for keeping our species together. One of the more interesting points Cacioppo makes is that even though we don’t fully understand loneliness we have always understood that we can use it as punishment. For children, when they are bad, they get a time out. For adults, in prison, they get solitary confinement. We would rather interact with the most violent of their fellow humans than be isolated.
ED 02/2011
  PeskyLibrary | Feb 8, 2011 |
Cacioppo and Patrick attack the received idea that social connection and empathy are the luxuries we annex onto our workaday existence, and instead show them as essential for human life. Through neuroscience and psychology they argue that empathic connection is something that life thrives on and, conversely, how the lack of these crucial parts of being lead to a miserable and shorter time on earth. They set a challenge to a world that is populated increasingly by isolated individuals, live and connect more or face the consequences. ( )
  Suva | Oct 24, 2010 |
Discussed in interview between Kerry Howley and Cacioppo on an episode of Free Will on bloggingheads.tv. Sounded interesting. So far so good.
  leeinaustin | Feb 11, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John T. Cacioppoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Patrick, Williammain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393061701, Hardcover)

A pioneering neuroscientist reveals the reasons for loneliness and what to do about it.

John T. Cacioppo’s groundbreaking research topples one of the pillars of modern medicine and psychology: the focus on the individual as the unit of inquiry. By employing brain scans, monitoring blood pressure, and analyzing immune function, he demonstrates the overpowering influence of social context—a factor so strong that it can alter DNA replication. He defines an unrecognized syndrome—chronic loneliness—brings it out of the shadow of its cousin depression, and shows how this subjective sense of social isolation uniquely disrupts our perceptions, behavior, and physiology, becoming a trap that not only reinforces isolation but can also lead to early death. He gives the lie to the Hobbesian view of human nature as a “war of all against all,” and he shows how social cooperation is, in fact, humanity’s defining characteristic. Most important, he shows how we can break the trap of isolation for our benefit both as individuals and as a society.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:49 -0400)

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A pioneering neuroscientist reveals the reasons for chronic loneliness--which he defines an unrecognized syndrome--and brings it out of the shadow of its cousin, depression.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393061701, 0393335283

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