Solitude experiences: varieties, settings, and individual differences

Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2003 May;29(5):578-83. doi: 10.1177/0146167203029005003.


Solitude may be positive or negative, depending on situational and personal factors. From prior research, nine types of solitude were identified. Based on data from a questionnaire study of undergraduate participants, factor analysis suggests that these nine types can be reduced to three dimensions, two positive and one negative. These are, respectively, Inner-Directed Solitude (characterized by self-discovery and inner peace), Outer-Directed Solitude (characterized by intimacy and spirituality), and Loneliness. Personality and value correlates, as well as situational correlates, of the various types of solitude also were explored.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Creativity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Loneliness*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Spirituality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires