Loneliness Is Linked To Lack Of Trust, New Study Says

Brain News: New research published in the journal Advanced Science revealed that loneliness is associated with a lack of trust in fellow human beings. It is reflected in changes in the activity and interaction of various brain structures, especially the insular cortex.

The researchers hired 3678 people for the study and selected only 42 people (based on an online questionnaire) who were affected by severe loneliness but did not suffer from a mental illness or were receiving psychotherapy. This will ensure the study findings are attributed to loneliness experienced and to rule out any influence of mental illness as far as possible. The control group comprised 40 people who did not suffer from persistent loneliness.

Participants first completed tasks in the brain scanner and then they played a trust game involving a start-up capital. The game involves trusting their gambling partners and counting on them for sharing their money with them. Participants with profound feelings of loneliness shared less with others than the control group, which could be interpreted as a lower level of trust.

The researchers also observed the changes in the brain region associated with trust formation, especially in the anterior insular cortex, which was less active in lonely individuals and did not connect as prominently with other brain areas.

The trust game was followed by a conversation task, where each participant dealt with emotionally positive content. The research team then conducted mood assessment and observed changes in the levels of bonding hormone oxytocin in response to the conversation. People who were highly were in a less positive mood after small talk than the control group.

“Overall, the results show across tasks that chronic loneliness is associated with reduced trust in fellow human beings,” says Dr. Dirk Scheele. “This can mean that interactions with others are experienced as less positive, which makes it harder to connect with others and exacerbates the loneliness spiral.”

Loneliness is a dangerous feeling in the world and persistent loneliness leads to a range of mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorder. The study findings have important implications for therapists to pay more attention to lonely people and their lack of trust by making it a topic of discussion and thus making those affected aware of it.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Lieberz, J., Shamay-Tsoory, S. G., Saporta, N., Esser, T., Kuskova, E., Stoffel-Wagner, B., Hurlemann, R., & Scheele, D. (2021). Loneliness and the social brain: How perceived social isolation impairs human interactions. https://doi.org/10.1101/2021.03.03.433569

Up Next

Can Talking To Strangers Help With Depression?

Can Talking To Strangers Ease Depression

Mental Health News

A group of researchers at the University of Sussex explored how talking to strangers can reduce depression. The study is published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The Study

The researchers recruited participants on a weekly basis. The latter played a scavenger hunt game using a mobile app called GooseChase. They then had to talk to a stranger or simply observe the stranger.

After the experiment, they completed “General” and “Daily” surveys. They also answered pre-conversation and post-conversation questionnaires that assesse


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Partying With A Purpose: Are There Mental Health Benefits Of Celebrations?

What Are The Mental Health Benefits Of Celebrations

A recent study explored the health benefits of celebrations.

Experts have linked celebrations to reduced risks of mental health conditions.

Why Are Healthy Celebrations Beneficial?

Social celebrations are joyous occasions that essentially include eating, drinking, and gathering together. A recent study conducted by Indiana University revealed that such celebrations are beneficial for health, mental and physical. Its benefits include:

Perceived social support in c

READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

False Memories: Why Do Psychopaths Forget Negative Events?

False Memories

Psychology News

A team of researchers at the University of Bari, Italy, explored the link between psychopathy and the creation of false memories. The study is published in the British Journal of Psychology.

The Study

The researchers asked 120 participants, aged 18–65 years, to complete the Psychopathic Personality Inventory. They assessed the participants’ self-centered impulsivity, fearless dominance, and cold-heartedness.

The latter


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Parents’ Political Ideology Impacts How Their Children Punish Others: Study

Parents’ Political Ideology Impacts

Psychology News

A team of researchers at New York University explored how parents’ political ideology dictates their children’s punishment for others. The study is published in the journal Psychological Science.

The Study

The researchers examined 269 children, aged 3−8 years, and their parents from across the United States. They conducted a series of experiments and surveys.

The children were subject to conditions in which they would demonstrate the need to meet out punishment to others within and outside a social group. On the other hand, the parents completed a qu


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Up Next

Research Reveals How Stress Affects Romantic Relationships

How Stress Affects Romantic Relationships

Mental Health News

A team of researchers at the University of Texas, Austin, explored how stress affects romantic relationships. The study is published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The Study

The researchers surveyed a daily diary study of 79 newlywed couples. They assessed factors like stressful life events, partner’s negative and positive behaviors, partner perception, etc.

The Findings

The results revealed that


READ FULL ARTICLE ⇲
Billy Milligan: The Man With “24” Faces The Boy Who Stayed Awake For 11 Days Straight How Netflix’s “Wednesday” Explores Adolescent Stress And Therapy What Harry Potter Teaches Us About Mental Health? Nocturnal Panic Attacks: What are they & how to recover 10 Best Healthy Foods To Beat The Holiday Blues What Are The Struggles During Holidays & 5 Ways To Prevent It Holiday Depression: 13 Tips To Beat Holiday Blues I am feeling so “behind” in life 7 Frustrating Things About Living With BPD Are You An Impulse Shopper? 9 Tips To Stop Impulse Buying The Healing Power Of Music Therapy