Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection Paperback – August 10, 2009
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
- Frans de Waal
“Wise, beautifully written, and often funny…a tour-de-force.”
- Shelley E. Taylor, professor of psychology, University of California, Los Angeles
- Library Journal
About the Author
John T. Cacioppo (1951―2018) was a psychology professor at the University of Chicago and director of the university’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience. He was the author of more than a dozen books, including Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connections.
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.
- Item Weight : 9 ounces
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0393335286
- ISBN-10 : 0393335283
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (August 10, 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #45,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
As I read further, though, it became clear that the author's primary goal (and purpose for this book) is: explain loneliness and all of its related effects in purely materialistic (philosophical materialism) terms. Accordingly, loneliness is just a matter of evolutionary behaviors and responses developed in the struggle for survival. The author supports this thesis through suppositions about how hominids formed communities in order to survive. Here the extensive footnoting and source citations become scant because the author is relying on imagination. These sections say more about how vividly the opening third of Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" impacted the author than how loneliness boils down to juices pulsing through the brain.
There's a gap between the tangible research he's devoted his professional life to and the imaginary scenes he's invented. He's operating from a paradigm that the evidence will only (and obviously) support a naturalistic/materialistic theory about loneliness. He's certain that feelings associated with loneliness, such as isolation, shame, and unworthiness are tantamount to how heat tells us fire will burn us, and nothing more. Without sufficient evidence to support or confirm this, the book is really only interesting for its case studies and their summarized findings.
He adds: "Given the statistical impact of loneliness, if its effects were caused by an impurityin our air or water, perhaps now there would be congressional hearings on how to reduce it. Perhaps we can hope for a similar awakening to the idea, grounded in rigorous science, that restorning bonds among people can be cost-effective and practical point of leverage for solving some of our most pressing social problems, not the least of which is the looming crisis in health care and eldercare."
Dr. Cacioppo points out the need for a place for people to gather and demonstrates how places of faith worship have fulfilled that need in the past. "The type of Christianity tht went on to become the primary structural element of the Western world focused on a simple message of self-esteem - "The kingdom of God is within you" -- combined with communal meals and even communal living. Its streamlined theology set aside the complex cleansing rituals of Judaism, and it presented evil less in mystical terms and more as a question of the behavior of one person toward another. The church that survived and prospered extended the basic ethics of the Hebrew tradition -- already a strong source of social support -- explicitly into the individual's inner life, creating a prohibitions against mere thoughts that were harmful to social connections: anger, hatred, misdirected lust. It dispensed with the temple in Jerusalem as the center of religious life, but maintained rituals to sanctify the basic elements of ordinary human existence: reproduction (marriage), birth (baptism), illness (anointment), and death (last rites). By way of these ceremonies it provided guidelines for social connection throughout the life cycle, making this universal church a practical social convention; It offered self-worth, it buried the dead, and it provided for the poor. Like Judaism, Islam, Confucianism and Buddhism, Christianity regulated all social transactions with the community, ranging from relationships within marriage and the family to standards for conducting business and dealing with neighbors."
Social connections are life saving connections. When we gather with our family, friends and neighbors, we produce the "happiness hormone" Oxcytocin. When we are isolated, when we move far away from family, when we begin to age and lose the close contact with our children our friends, when we stop going to church because the beliefs we once held are no longer relevant to us, is when we begin our own decline. We need other people in our lives. It's as important to have people who care about us and who we care about as it is to have the very oxygen we breath in the air.
I am a technology buff. I love my Apple devices. However, after reading Loneliness, I have awakened my appreciation of and my awareness for the need to put those amazing devices in their separate compartments in my life. If we do not break the hold technology has on the majority of people today, we will suffer the coming consequences of being Avatar's instead of human beings.
I love and appreciate Dr. Cacioppo's work on loneliness. It's a topic all too often not only disregarded in todays fast paced society but an aspect of life that has faded into the background of the screens of our devices. We no longer sit on a porch on a warm summer evening sharing a cool drink or a beer with a couple of neighbors while the children play around us. We are all too busy checking our devices, making comments on Facebook, or playing video games. As Dr. Caccioppo points out people need real people in front of them - talking, laughing, sharing, learning from each other. We need to see their faces, feel their emotions, read their body language and feel their touch. Emoticon's are a very poor attempt to replace actual living human beings in our lives.
Top reviews from other countries
We all may have suspected at one time or another that some people have influence over us - again, like it or not. The stupidest thing you can do to yourself is denying the fact that you actually care about what others think of you (or just very few people, but you still care).
Unfortunately, Western society is much too focussed on the individual, while the idea of one against all (or one above all) is toxic. We are programmed to live in groups, just like any other advance monkey and we better accept the fact and deal with it in the best possible way, for our sake and the sake of humankind at large. And what would be wrong in a world where people actually aknowledge others and care about them?
This is not designed as a self help book but, with solid evidence It clearly explains why loneliness is a perfectly normal emotion, the effects it can have on your health and how the need for connection binds us all and has done since the beginning.
Its well written, easy to connect with and a great read full of "aha" moments that certainly rang true with me.
This is a book that I have high lighted passages within and will return to again and again.
A book on an area of human nature and social connection, written in perfectly understandable, lay terms.