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John Cacioppo on The Lethality of Loneliness (Full Transcript)

John Cacioppo

Full text of John Cacioppo on The Lethality of Loneliness at TEDxDesMoines conference.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: MP3 – The lethality of loneliness by John Cacioppo at TEDxDesMoines


When you look out onto the world, it certainly appears the Earth is flat. The ground beneath you is stable and unmoving, and stars and sun circle the Earth.

Hundreds of years ago, elaborated theories were developed based on these common sense observations to explain and predict the reach of the oceans and the movement of celestial bodies. When science demonstrated that these common-sense observations were illusions, and depicted the Earth and the Universe in a completely different way, people slowly came to accept that the world was not as it seemed.

Scientific measurements and sophisticated calculations have repeatedly demonstrated that what we think is intuitive, obvious and common sense cannot be trusted to be true. For that reason, modern sciences based on the denial of common sense until apparently it comes to ourselves: when science confirms a particular way of thinking about our mind and behavior, or depicts it in an unusual and a new way, we tend to be skeptical that such a science is worthwhile even if possible. And instead, we fall back on intuition, prior beliefs, and yes, common sense.

For instance, if I told you, scientific research has demonstrated that opposites attract, wouldn’t you tell me that we don’t need a science to tell us something we already know?

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