Me, Myself, and I: Exploring the Psychology of Solitude
Instructor: Dr. Laura Ooi
Description: Humans spend time alone for many different reasons. In some cases, solitude is a welcome opportunity to be productive, creative, and to relax. However, sometimes solitude can evoke feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and sadness. In this course, we will explore some of the potential costs and benefits of solitude across the lifespan. We will draw upon a wide range of perspectives (e.g., evolutionary, social, developmental, personality, health, clinical) and contexts (e.g., school, online, across cultures, during a global pandemic) in order to critically evaluate the complex meaning and implications of spending time alone.
May 26 – June 30, 2021 (6 classes)
Wednesdays: 10:00 am-12:00 pm EST
Registration opens April 12, 2021 (8:30 am EST)
Topics in this course may include (but are not limited to):
- History and Perspectives on Solitude
- Prevailing theories and ideas about solitude
- Individual Differences in why we Seek (or Avoid!) Solitude
- e.g., introversion/extraversion, shyness, social motivations, etc.
- The Potential Costs of Solitude
- e.g., the effects of rejection, loneliness, quarantining during a pandemic, mental health disorders, etc.
- The Potential Benefits of Solitude
- e.g., creativity, productivity, freedom, self-discovery, recharging, well-being, etc.
- Solitude across the Lifespan
- e.g., solitary play in early childhood, identity development in adolescence, being single in adulthood, isolation among the elderly, etc.
- Solitude and Technology
- e.g., alone in virtual environments, reliance on technology, etc.
- Solitude across Cultures
- e.g., cultural perspectives on social and solitary behaviours.