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    Feeling Lonely? Turn up the Volume!



    Summary: Lonely and socially isolated people prefer higher volume sounds, such as loud music or background noise, compared to those who feel socially accepted, a new study reports.

    Source: James Cook University.

    According to new research from James Cook University, sound could be used to combat feelings of loneliness.

    The study involved 12 experiments with a total of 2219 people from Australia, Singapore, the UK, and the USA. It suggests that perceptions of auditory loudness and interpersonal closeness are both ways related.

    The researchers found people who are socially isolated show a fondness for higher volume sounds, such as music or background noise, compared to those who feel socially accepted, and higher volumes can help counter feelings of exclusion.

    Loud noises are not only desired following social exclusion, they are also effective at diminishing the negative psychological effects of social exclusion, such as social pain, feelings of anger, loneliness, and worsened mood. The loneliness antidote isn’t only about loud volumes and many people may recognise times in their lives when they are unaware they’re using sound as social comfort.

    The study explains why people often seem to fancy background noise even when they do not intend to pay attention to it. Such as leaving the television on while doing chores, or listening to music while studying, even if it may interfere with the task at hand.

    There is potential for this research to be used in surroundings such as hospitals and retirement homes. It can also be used for people who are working lonesome jobs, living alone, increasing the volume up may reduce negative emotions, may be because of the sense of companionship it provides.

    Published: James Cook University.

    Contact: Adam Wang, James Cook University.

    Details: Image source Unsplash


    Hi, I’m Aarti, My Psychoanalytical approach towards my clients is to empower them to better their lives through improving their relationship with themselves. I believe shame and guilt is a common barrier to change. I aim to guide my clients through re authoring their narratives where shame, guilt, and other problems have less power and take up less space.

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