Loneliness & Social Isolation

Loneliness & Social Isolation

We use behavioral economics to design the environment for happiness.


60% of Americans say they’ve been lonely in the last year. 20% of people say they have no close friends at all.

Sadly, for all the talk about loneliness, research and solutions are lacking. At Irrational Labs, we are changing this.

Our focus is on preventing loneliness. We design systems that create high-quality relationships, drive purpose from life and increase civic participation.


Innovation and Design

We run design sprints with teams to inform innovation. How could public spaces be designed to increase daily connection? How could cities proactively help new residents adjust quickly? How could community centers or apartment complexes tweak their programming to promote sustained relationships?   

Basic Research

‘Social support’ is one of six key variables that explain how people evaluate their lives – social support is second only to GDP.  

Our team assesses key questions in the field of loneliness and social isolation, then partners with organizations that have access to a populations of need and design experiments to increase social support. 

Employee Wellbeing

If you have a friend at work, you’re more likely to stick around. By designing ways for employees to connect with each other, organizations can increase their retention and save money. We work with HR teams to design cultures that encourage safe spaces to create connections.


Case Studies

How can we reframe the concept of loneliness and prevent people from becoming lonely in the first place? We designed an experiment to drive meaningful conversations.

How can we design our social infrastructure to better help people connect? We did research and launched a product.

Change the Conversation

Get the No Small Talk cards used in our studies. These cards are designed to be a conversational lubricant at your next Zoom hangout or socially distanced dinner party.

Let's connect on connection.


Our Services

From concept to code, explore how we get our hands dirty with research, product, and marketing challenges.

Our Areas of Expertise

Learn how we are helping change behaviors across the domains of health, education, finance, and more.

Join our Bootcamp

Understand your customers’ choices and learn how to change their behavior for the better — in our 8-week online Behavioral Design course.