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Social Connection Lab at USC

Director: Elisa C. Baek, Ph.D.

The Social Connection Lab ("SoCoLab") investigates what helps people feel socially connected to one another.


Feeling socially connected with others has a critical impact on our physical and mental well-being. At the SoCoLab at USC, we study various facets of social connection, such as what helps people feel connected to others, what distinguishes people who are great at connecting with others, and the factors that contribute to social disconnection. Some of our prior and ongoing work investigates the associations between subjective and objective social (dis)connection and neural responses, the neural and psychological drivers of information sharing, and the neural correlates of social influence. We are also interested in persuasion and message effects, particularly in the health domain, such as what makes messages more persuasive and effective.


In answering these questions, we take a multi-disciplinary approach, using theories and methods from psychology, neuroscience, network science, and communication. We hope that by understanding the mechanisms that underlie social connection, we can help people lead happier, healthier lives.

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