Date of Award

Summer 6-26-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts - Psychology



First Advisor

Dr. James Schaeffer

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven Estrada

Third Advisor

Dr. Nathan Sparkman

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Luis Aguerrevere


Loneliness, the perception of unmet social needs, has been shown to relate to recollection-based recognition deficits, but the relationship between loneliness and recognition memory (i.e., recollection and familiarity) has not been thoroughly examined. The current study hypothesized that more lonely individuals would have lower recognition memory performance, specifically recollection, with smaller ERP parietal old-new effects than less lonely individuals. Forty participants, grouped into less (n = 13) and more (n = 9) lonely groups based on their R-UCLA responses, completed an associative memory task. EEG was used to assess recognition memory effects. Results showed no significant difference in both behavioral and ERP recognition memory effects between lonely groups, showing that lonelier individuals had no specific recollection-based recognition memory deficits. Evidence of a negative trend between loneliness and recognition memory effects was observed. Future research should include more participants and better methodology to explore the loneliness-recognition memory relationship.

Keywords: loneliness, perceived social isolation, memory, recognition memory, electroencephalogram (EEG), event-related potential (ERP)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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