Loneliness by John T. Cacioppo
Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection

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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.

About John T. Cacioppo

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John T. Cacioppo is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and president of the Association for Psychological Science. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.William Patrick, former editor for science and medicine at Harvard University Press, is editor in chief of the Journal of Life Sciences. He lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Published August 17, 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company. 336 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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An absorbing account of our genetically programmed need for each other's company.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Loneliness: Human Nature and ...

Spirituality & Practice

Studies show that roughly 20 percent of people — 60 million in the United States alone — are feeling lonely at any given moment.

| Read Full Review of Loneliness: Human Nature and ...

Psych Central

White observes, “It’s entirely reasonable to feel lonely yet still feel as though you need some time to yourself.” Loneliness feels draining, distracting, and upsetting;

Nov 08 2013 | Read Full Review of Loneliness: Human Nature and ...

Pacific standard magazine

And at the level of individual genes that’s kind of true—there is some noise there.” But the kinds of genes that get dialed up or down in response to social experience, he said, and the gene networks and gene-expression cascades that they set off, “are surprisingly consistent—from monke...

Sep 03 2013 | Read Full Review of Loneliness: Human Nature and ...

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