The Top 10 Insights from the “Science of a Meaningful Life” in 2018

The most provocative and influential research findings published during this past year. Stock

There is plenty of science to convince us that social connection is key to well-being. But relationships are complicated, bringing good and bad into our lives. This year’s top insights speak to the practical forces that unite us or divide us—both in intimate relationships and in our communities. They offer some hints about how to overcome anger or loneliness, and help explain why it’s so hard to make friends and offer them emotional support. They demonstrate the psychological forces that lead to conflict and the kinds of environments that promote greater generosity.

All of these insights remind us of the interplay between our inner lives and our social conditions. Ways we might take care of ourselves, like practicing mindfulness and getting good sleep, have implications down the line for our relationships. And the type of neighborhood and culture we live in, in turn, influence our own well-being.

This year’s top insights from the science of a meaningful life move from our most private emotions to the ways different groups of Americans relate to each other. They won’t solve all of our social problems—but we hope this list of discoveries will help you to better understand yourself and the people around…