Is Urban Loneliness a Myth? — New York Magazine

http://nymag.com/news/features/52450/

Studies show that loneliness is associated with morning surges in cortisol, the stress hormone, and increased vascular resistance, which results in higher blood pressure. They also show the lonely drink more, exercise less, get divorced more often, and have more family estrangements and run-ins with the neighbors. And they’re fatter. In one of my favorite experiments described in Loneliness, students were divided into two groups and told to evaluate bite-size cookies. Specifically, researchers took aside each of the kids in one group and told them that no one wanted to work with them, so they’d have to work on their own. The others, by contrast, were each privately told that everyone wanted to work with them, but they’d still have to work on their own because it would be impossible to work with so many people. Then all of the participants were handed a plate of cookies and told to evaluate them. On average, the ones who had been told they were universally liked ate 4.5. Those who had been told they’d been universally rejected ate 9. “Is it any wonder we turn to ice cream,” the authors ask, “when we’re sitting at home feeling all alone in the world?”

I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes in the past few months, and received all of three (unsuccessful) interviews. This article explains why I’ve been hittin’ the cookies pretty hard.

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