New paper by Elena Popa
Elena Popa published a new article: "Loneliness as Cause" in Topoi. This paper is a part of Values, Trust, and Decision Making in Public Health project.
While loneliness has been linked to various mental and physical health problems, the sense in which loneliness is a cause of these conditions has so far attracted little philosophical attention. This paper aims to fill this gap by analyzing research on health effects of loneliness and therapeutic interventions through current approaches to causality. To deal with the problem of causality between psychological, social, and biological variables, the paper endorses a biopsychosocial model of health and disease. I will investigate how three main approaches to causality used in psychiatry and public health apply to loneliness: interventionism, mechanisms, and dispositional theories. Interventionism can specify whether loneliness causes specific effects, or whether a treatment works, incorporating results from randomized controlled trials. Mechanisms help explain how loneliness brings about negative health effects, spelling out psychological processes involved in lonely social cognition. Dispositional approaches help stress particular features of loneliness connected to negative social interactions, such as defensiveness. I will conclude by showing that previous research alongside emerging approaches to health effects of loneliness lend themselves to analysis in terms of the causal models under discussion.
Link to the article
Popa, E. (2023). Loneliness as Cause. Topoi. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11245-023-09933-2