No differences between lonely and nonlonely people’s attention to negative social info

first_imgShare on Twitter The main purpose of their study was to look at differences between lonely people and nonlonely people to see if they showed differences in how much they pay attention to negative social cues.  Two groups of female students who attended college in the Netherlands were included in this study, including 25 nonlonely and 25 lonely participants.  The UCLA Loneliness Scale was translated into a Dutch version to group the study participants.  This is a 20 item questionnaire that measures how lonely people feel with questions like “How often do you feel left out?” (p.4).Then, the students were given 4 different sets of computer images and told to simply view them like they would TV.  Each set of images contained either social (involving humans) or nonsocial (not involving humans) information including faces, interactions between people, or pictures of random objects.  The women’s eye tracking was measured during each of the 4 sets of images in order to track how much they paid attention to negative social information like angry faces or a robbery negative nonsocial information like a dirty bucket.Results showed that, despite the expectation that differences would be found, there were no significant differences between the lonely and nonlonely participants in the how much they paid visual attention to negative information.  The researchers concluded that this may have occurred because lonely people may pay more attention to negative social information at other times during social interactions such as after they have just witnessed a negative social interaction and not during.Other reasons given for their lack of findings were that perhaps only certain kinds of lonely people pay more attention to negative information than do nonlonely (e.g., children who are still developing social skills) or that lonely people may only pay more attention to negative social information than do nonlonely people during certain situations (e.g., if they are being socially rejected). Share on Facebook Pinterest Researchers from the Netherlands recently examined loneliness to see if it affected how much attention people pay to negative social information like sad or angry faces.  The findings of this study were released in April 2015 in PLoS ONE.  Their findings showed no differences between lonely and nonlonely people in terms of how much attention they give to negative information that they view.Loneliness was defined as “a negative emotional response to a discrepancy between the desired and actual quality or quantity of interpersonal relationships” (p.2).  Previous research has shown that it is highly linked to both depression and social anxiety, and can have negative health consequences like higher disease and death rates.  And there is existing evidence to show that loneliness does impact how a person processes social information.For example, it has been shown that such people have more negative perceptions about social interactions and expectations about how they are viewed by others.  Therefore, the researchers felt that it was important to further study loneliness and its related behaviors, specifically how environmental information is processed.center_img Email LinkedIn Sharelast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *