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The Big Question

Can Single People Be Happy?

Oct 14, 2015 | 28 videos
Video by The Atlantic

At this year's Aspen Ideas Festival, we asked a group of professors, psychologists, and journalists if people can find fulfillment alone. It was, admittedly, a question asked only somewhat seriously—but the responses from our experts were a pretty resounding yes. Humans need social interaction and meaningful connections, but they don't have to come in the form of a significant other. "Loneliness is terrible, we need human contact. But the type of human contact can vary a lot," says Paul Bloom, professor of psychology at Yale University. Other panelists include Eli Finkel, Susan Greenfield, Jennifer Senior, and Suleika Jaouad.


The Big Question is a series inspired by The Atlantic's back-page feature.

Authors: Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg, Sam Price-Waldman, Greyson Korhonen

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Ideas and insights from leaders at the Aspen Ideas Festival