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© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Loneliness has been conceptualized as an alarm against social isolation under an evolutionary theoretical framework. Loneliness, as an adaptive feature, would have to be linked to environmental conditions and not only to the subjective evaluation of our social network. This research investigates lack of received empathy as an environmental trigger of the loneliness alarm. Lack of received empathy could explain previously observed correlations between loneliness and low satisfaction with social relationships, attachment insecurity, and certain age groups like teenagers and the elderly. A well-defined evolutionary model opens up new possibilities for the development of more efficient strategies to reduce loneliness.

Original publication




Journal article


Personality and Individual Differences

Publication Date





223 - 232