A New Study Says Loneliness Turns People Selfish

Led by John Cacioppo, a researcher at the University of Chicago’s Social Neuroscience Laboratory, the study authors argued that feeling lonely, besides pushing us to seek out social connections, may also bring us to a heightened state of awareness. If our ancestors were excluded from a group, Cacioppo and his colleagues reasoned, they were often in immediate danger, sparking the body to kick into self-preservation mode, with biological effects like increased blood flow to the muscles, higher cortisol, and lighter sleep. Cognitively, that same instinct can mean we prioritize ourselves over others to a higher degree.

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