Abstract

This study utilized the Brewer and Gardner (1996) theory of self-concept and related it to previous theories of loneliness. Seventy participants were cued by stories (primes) to put them in a mind-frame that focused on one level of self. The levels used were the interpersonal level and the collective level. In addition, a control group was used. The collective level of self is the way in which individuals think of themselves within a group. The interpersonal level is the way they think about themselves within an intimate relationship. Loneliness was then measured using both the SELSA and the UCLA loneliness scale. Both scales are multi-dimensional and characterized aspects of self within a social relationship framework. It was predicted that the type of loneliness experienced, as measure by these scales, would vary as a function of the social relationship with which the participant was primed. For instance, if they received an interpersonal prime they were predicted to experience less intimate type loneliness. In addition, participants were given a depression inventory scale and a demographics form. No significant difference was found between groups for either loneliness scale. Although not significant, observations of the data trends indicate that participants do report the lowest amounts of loneliness corresponding to their prime.

Disciplines

Psychology

Included in

Psychology Commons

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