/ Resources
Social distancing or social connectedness?

Social distancing or social connectedness?

Who's afraid (of being alone)?

With research colleagues from the University of Melbourne and Australian National University, BehaviourWorks’ Research Fellow, Alexander (Zan) Saeri, recently published an important piece in The Conversation on the negative impacts that words and labels can have on our psyche and behaviour in times of crisis.

The researchers are particularly concerned about the use of phrases such as ‘social distancing’, as they believe it can increase people’s feelings of isolation, loneliness and anxiety.

As the researchers suggest, humans are innately social, and our natural instinct is to reach out to touch or be close to others when we feel unwell or afraid.

They want to see governments and communities create the kind of social infrastructure that will support and encourage connectedness, noting that ‘social solidarity’ is a proven method of building resilience.

Education & training

Looking to upskill?

Check out our Monash University accredited courses, along with our short and bespoke training programs.


Have a project for us?

We offer a broad range of research services to help governments, industries and NGOs find behavioural solutions.


Explore our resources

We believe in building capacity and sharing knowledge through multiple channels to our partners, collaborators and the wider community.


Sign up to the broadcast

Get monthly behaviour change content and insights

I agree to receive marketing communications from Behaviour Works Australia, part of Monash University. Monash University values the privacy of every individual's personal information and is committed to the protection of that information from unauthorised use and disclosure except where permitted by law. For information about the handling of your personal information please see Data Protection and Privacy Procedure and our ** Data Protection and Privacy Collection Statements.

If you have any questions about how Monash University is collecting and handling your personal information, please contact our Data Protection and Privacy Office at dataprotectionofficer@monash.edu.

Thanks for your interest in BehaviourWorks Australia.

You'll hear from us soon!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.