Do people in individualistic cultures feel lonelier than in collectivistic cultures? Surprisingly, they don’t: Although people in individualistic cultures often have less stable relationships and spend more time alone, average loneliness seems to be lower than in more collectivistic cultures. In my dissertation, I provide an explanation for this “cultural paradox of loneliness”.
Can culture make us lonely? Our research suggests that the answer is yes: we found higher individualism to be associated with higher loneliness. In a future research/film project, we will now explore whether culture can give rise to differences in loneliness experiences. Sounds interesting? Join us as a research assistant!