The fear of spending time alone (isolation) may be closely related to dysfunction in decision-making. This study tested the prediction that people who strongly fear isolation have a reduced ability to think about social issues. The authors polled Japanese respondents via an online survey (N = 824). The results revealed that fear of isolation, measured by self-report, was negatively correlated with the ability to detect inappropriate agendas, inconsistent with a meeting's purpose. Additionally, fear of isolation was negatively correlated with a capacity to detect less relevant propositions addressing the causes of social issues and their solutions. These results showed that the more people feared isolation, the lower their ability to think about social issues. Based on these findings, the authors argue that fear of isolation is a good predictor of a lower ability for contemplating social issues.
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