5 thoughts on “Two of the Best Things about Living Single

  • February 25, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Thanks for this–particularly as an adjunct to “Alone: The Badass Psychology…”, which was the first external validation I ever encountered to my experience that there is a difference between (for example) being in a room, by yourself, in a house someone else is also occupying, and being in that house by yourself. And thanks in particular for the concession “just about” when talking about that first need, meaningful social ties. My greatest internal exploration at the moment centers around whether, or how much, I actually share that need, and (correctly or otherwise, which I suppose remains to be seen) I often find myself coming up with some seriously counterculture answers. 🙂

    This is perhaps off-topic, but it occurred to me that with your experience in analyzing studies, you might be someone I could ask about how I might find out what studies exist that examine the question (or assumption) that humans are universally “social creatures.” How does one go about finding out whether there have been studies on a particular topic and, if so, what their methodologies and conclusions were? Is it possible for a layperson to do that research, or would I need a degree like yours to get access to such information? I appreciate any insights or suggestions you might have!

    Thanks so much for your work! I think you probably support far more of us than you imagine…

    • February 25, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      Thank-you, NCP, for your kind words and for your very important question. The question you raise is one I have often wondered about. Social scientists tend to assume that humans are universally social creatures. One review paper that tried to make that case was “The need to belong,” by Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary, in 1995 in Psychological Bulletin. It would probably be challenging to answer your question without more advanced training, but I’d never discourage you from trying. Good luck!

      • February 25, 2018 at 5:17 pm

        I was more hoping there was a place other than Google to go for searches; I know I’m not really qualified (or, more to the point, educated enough in the field) to do the research myself. I do wonder about informal info-gathering, though… But I hear/read about researchers and analysts like yourself mentioning from time to time that “searching for X brings up a ton of studies, while searching for Y is almost devoid of results” and I was wondering if they were in some database for psychological or scientific research, or if they were just using specialized search terms on the general internet, or whatever. I know one sometimes runs across study or research-paper abstracts on normal search engines, but I wouldn’t know how to go about limiting my results TO those types of resources, and excluding the less scholarly ones. Failing that, I suppose my next stop should be to a reference librarian…

        And what would I do if I DID find out that no one had really asked the question, I wonder. It seems like it WOULD be difficult for social scientists NOT to assume the premise that humans are inherently social, but it seems like the attempt ought to be made…

      • February 27, 2018 at 12:28 pm

        Thanks so much!


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