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THe Loneliness Epidemic

Brazos Press 2021

 Now available for pre-order!

What makes people lonely? And how can Christian communities better minister to the lonely? In The Loneliness Epidemic, behavioral scientist and researcher Susan Mettes explores those questions and more.
Guided by current research from Barna Group, Mettes illustrates the profound physical, emotional, and social toll of loneliness in our country. Surprisingly, her research shows that it is not the oldest Americans but the youngest adults who are loneliest, and that social media can actually play a positive role in alleviating loneliness. Mettes highlights the role that belonging, friendship, closeness, and expectations play in preventing it. She also offers meaningful ways the church can minister to lonely people, going far beyond simplistic solutions--like helping them meet new people--to addressing their inner lives and the God who understands them.

With practical and highly applicable tips, this book is an invaluable tool for anyone--ministry leaders, parents, friends--trying to help someone who feels alone. Readers will emerge better able to deal with their own loneliness and to help alleviate the loneliness of others. Foreword by Barna Group president David Kinnaman.

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Understanding Americans

Finally, culture training based on data! Hear from people around the world about their perceptions of your clothing, communication, timing, and more. Show up prepared to make the right impression.

Currently working with organizations, opportunities for individuals to come soon.

Research Services

Behavioral design, survey design, interviews, and research, including experiments, qualitative, and quantitative analysis. 

I've done writing and research for the Barna Group from 2016 to now. From 2012-2015, I worked for Dan Ariely at his behavioral economics lab on projects about how people can make better decisions. Specifically, I led a Gates Foundation-funded project about getting families around the world to make better nutrition decisions. I also worked on research partnerships with U.S. non-profits to help Americans save more strategically. 

Consulting Services

I've seen mission-based organizations' work from all angles, and now I help them meet their missions more effectively. I'm a certified EQ-i/ EQ360 consultant. I also offer behavioral design, facilitation, policy analysis, and interpretation of research (applying it to organizations and their audiences).

About Susan Mettes

My career hasn't been straightforward, but it certainly has had an orientation: understanding people for their good. I see my experience in behavioral economics, writing, research, survey design and analysis, travel, journalism, public policy, and teaching as opportunities for listening to, connecting, and benefiting people.


I love making sense of complex research, writing about it so that that non-researchers can understand its implications. And I really love getting the story right.​

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