Behavioral confirmation of loneliness in dyadic conversations
Gruman, Jamie Allen
Master of Arts
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This study was designed to examine the self-fulfilling nature of the social stigma of loneliness. It was hypothesized that individuals (perceivers) would be less warm and friendly in dyadic conversations with persons believed to be lonely (lonely target) than not-lonely (not-lonely target), and that partners would reciprocate this behavior. These patterns were expected to be stronger in female perceiver/male target than male perceiver/female target dyads. In this study, university students engaged in cross-sex dyadic conversations prior to which they were provided with items from the revised UCLA loneliness scale indicating that their partner (target) was lonely or not-lonely. The analyses revealed that, consistent with the hypotheses, in female perceiver/male target dyads, the perceiver was observed to be less warm during later stages of the conversations when the male target was lonely compared to when not-lonely. It was found that about the same point in the conversations male targets were observed to be less proud when lonely than not-lonely. Additionally, subsequent to the conversations.