The research, which appears in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, draws on a newly published significant global datasets that the (BBC) gathered for their “Loneliness Experiment.”
The authors of the present study state that loneliness can be understood as “the discrepancy between actual and desired social relationships.”
According to this definition, two people who have the same number of social relationships may experience loneliness differently if one desires more social relationships than the other.
Conversely, two people who desire the same number of social relationships may experience different levels of loneliness if one of them has more social relationships.
The authors of the present study focused on a subset of this data, including people who had indicated their age and specified that they were a man or a woman.
There were insufficient data available to include those who chose “other” as their gender. In total, they used data from 46,054 people.
To determine the participants’ level of individualism or collectivism, the authors drew on a previous study that assigned relative individualism or collectivism to 101 countries.
The participants in the current study only included those who indicated that they were from one of these 101 countries.