Loneliness is stronger when not alone

A new study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, ‘Alone in a Crowd: Is Social Contact Associated with Less Psychological Pain of Loneliness in Everyday Life?’, questions the notion that social contact can reduce feelings of loneliness. The study, which analysed 3,035 participants’ daily lives using ecological momentary assessments, found that social contact amplifies loneliness’ negative effect on well-being, rather than buffering the impact. The researchers caution that simply spending time with others may not necessarily lead to a reduced burden of loneliness and can even backfire. The research emphasises the need for more social interaction quality, rather than just quantity.


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