Remembering Dr. John T. Cacioppo

by Stacey McDaniel

Dr. John T. Cacioppo

With deep sadness, we acknowledge the passing of Dr. John T. Cacioppo, the pioneering psychologist whose research merged psychology and biology into a brand-new field of study: social neuroscience.

Dr. Cacioppo literally wrote the book on loneliness. Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, co-authored with William Patrick, explored the physical effects of chronic loneliness and its cousin, isolation. His rigorous scientific investigations into the functions of the brain and nervous system and their implications for human behavior and health continue to influence the field.

When AARP Foundation began to focus its attention on isolation, particularly in older adults, Dr. Cacioppo’s research informed our thinking — and he generously offered us his time and his insights. He was instrumental in shaping our understanding of loneliness and its devastating consequences, and his passion for the subject guided us in launching Connect2Affect. He became a true friend of the Foundation, helping us hone our knowledge, weighing in on ideas for solutions, and connecting us to people and ideas who could help advance our work.

All of us at Connect2Affect and AARP Foundation extend our heartfelt condolences to Dr. Cacioppo’s family, colleagues and students.

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