Welcome to The Science of Social Connection
On this Substack a PhD researcher unpacks how the world within us, between us, and around us impacts our vital sense of social connection.
There’s a growing scientific consensus that feeling socially connected is key not only for mental but physical health—Yet a majority of Americans struggle with loneliness.
So what can we do as individuals, in families, in communities, in organizations, and in society to promote social connection?
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This newsletter applies the findings of research across disciplines to explain how human connection works, and explores ways that we can enhance connection at both an individual and a public health level.
Meaning: I will nerd out on the science of social interaction, and offer tips around how we can make those interactions more meaningful for ourselves and those in our wider communities.
A selection of topics you can expect to read about here:
The kinds of social interactions that promote a sense of connection
The mental and emotional processes involved in social connection
How people form, maintain, and deepen relationships of all kinds
How we can find connection in our current chaotic and technology saturated landscape
How the social contexts of institutions, culture, and society impact the way we connect
Explorations of policy that may improve public health efforts around social connection
How we might develop more caring and connected cultures
Personal thoughts on connection informed by
I’m a research psychologist and educator based in Minneapolis. I earned a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison, during which I conducted research as a visiting scholar with the Social Interaction Lab in the Psychology Department of University of Minnesota. My training focused around what allows for quality relationships for families, romantic partners, and friends, as well as how these relationships impact who we become across the arc of our lives.
My dissertation explored how adults experience moments of meaningful connection in everyday life, and part of the purpose of this newsletter is to share some of the published and unpublished data and analysis from the series of quantitative and qualitative studies that I conducted for that project.
I’m also a visual artist so I will populate this newsletter with my own drawings to help illustrate topics, and hopefully make the whole endeavor aesthetically enjoyable.
Thanks so much for being here—I so appreciate you giving me the opportunity to make the research on social connection more visible!
Thanks for reading The Science of Social Connection ! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.