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Leading expert in study of loneliness to speak Nov. 1

10/29/2012

John T. Cacioppo
John T. Cacioppo
John T. Cacioppo, a central figure in founding the field of social neuroscience, will visit Miami University at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Taylor Auditorium, Farmer School of Business, to present the Elizabeth Burckhardt Distinguished Address, "Social Isolation."

"Our research on social isolation underscores the fundamental human need for social connection, what it means to be connected to others, and the implications of the absence or presence of such connections for individuals, groups, and societies," said Cacioppo.

Cacioppo is one of the world's leading experts on social isolation and connection, attitudes and evaluative processes. He is the Tiffany and Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor and director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. He is broadly recognized for his pioneering research on the ways in which isolation deeply impacts both mental and physical well being, affecting social cognition and emotions, personality processes, brain cognition, biology and health.

His book, Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, defines chronic loneliness, which has long existed in the shadow of depression. Cacioppo shows how a subjective sense of social isolation uniquely disrupts perceptions, behavior, and physiology, becoming a trap that not only reinforces isolation but can also lead to early death. The book addresses how to break the trap of isolation to the benefit of individuals as well as society.

“He’s one of the best people in psychology in developing and promoting interdisciplinary work on important psychological issues,” said Allen McConnell, James and Beth Lewis Professor in Miami’s department of psychology. “His research epitomizes research going forward in terms of interdisciplinary teams and understanding the broader impact of any phenomenon.”

Cacioppo’s visit is sponsored by the department of psychology and the Farmer School of Business.

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