Some University Of Chicago reserarchers have some bad news and some good news about being alone: it brings on loneliness and depression, but it improves concentration and is often followed by a period of unusually good feeling and alertness. The three behavioral scientists studied 182 adults and teenagers, who spent about a fourth of their waking hours alone. The subjects carried beepers and when signaled they filled out a form about their activity and mood. the study turned up some not-so-surprising things, including the finding that people are three times more likely to feel lonely when alone than when with others. but it also found that people alone are less self-conscious and better able to concentrate; less happy and more irritable, bored and sad. also notable was the discovery that after periods of solitude, depressive moods do not linger. Instead, what follows is a renewing effect that makes the person feel more cheerful and alert than normal. they also found that the moods of teenagers were altered more by solitude than were those of adults. "The findings show that they benefit from a larger reduction in self-consciousness when alone and show stronger positive after-effects on their emotional state," the report said. "More significantly, other research has shown that adolescents who spend more time alone show greater purposiveness and personal direction in their lives."