Clarifying the Relationship Between Ostracism and Relational Devaluation

The Journal of Social Psychology (Impact Factor: 0.64). 08/2013; 154(1). DOI: 10.1080/00224545.2013.826619


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Available from: J. P. Gerber, Jan 24, 2014
    • "Interacting with two friends from whom you already expect to be excluded may mitigate the effects of ostracism . This reasoning is consistent with research demonstrating that expecting ostracism may lessen its blow (Gerber & Wheeler, 2014) and that people react more aggressively when they are unexpectedly ostracized (Wesselmann, Butler , Williams, & Pickett, 2010). Thus, we expected that being ostracized by two people who are strangers would lead people to feel less need satisfaction and less positive affect than being ostracized by two people who are friends. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study explored how the relationship between sources of ostracism, whether they are friends or strangers to each other, influences the targeted person's reactions to ostracism. Participants interacted with 2 confederates who indicated that they were friends or strangers with each other. Participants were then ostracized or included by the confederates in Cyberball. The results indicated that being ostracized by 2 people who were strangers to each other made participants feel worse than being ostracized by 2 people who were friends with each other. Additionally, participants felt best being included by 2 people who were strangers to each other. These findings may have occurred as a result of differential expectations for inclusion and exclusion from 2 people who are friends, rather than strangers, to each other.
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    ABSTRACT: Ostracism means being ignored and excluded. Like bullying, ostracism causes pain and distress. Its targets either attempt compensatory behavior, aimed at being likeable and included, or they retaliate, provoke, and aggress. Qualitative interviews suggest that frequent exposures to ostracism make targets become depressed, exhibit helplessness, and engage in suicidal ideation and/or attempts. Unlike bullying, ostracism need not be persistent or unwanted, is difficult to monitor and penalize, and negatively affects basic human needs for acknowledgment and meaning. Research on ostracism reveals its characteristics, compares its consequences with being bullied, and suggests implications for public policy.
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    ABSTRACT: Violating one’s expectations of inclusion may influence the pain of rejection. This is supported by neurological evidence on expectation violation processing (Somerville, Heatherton, & Kelley, 2006). We asked: Can an expectation of a specific social outcome affect how it feels to be rejected or included? We tested the premise that expectations for the outcome of an interaction are derived from social information. Participants were either liked or disliked following a get-acquainted exercise (Study 1), or were given inclusionary versus exclusionary cues (Study 2) or no social information (Study 3) in an imagined scenario before being rejected or included. Rejection felt worse than inclusion; however, we found rejected individuals felt increasingly worse after receiving inclusionary cues than receiving exclusionary cues. Included individuals felt an increase in need satisfaction and reduced negative affect when they initially expected to be rejected compared to when they expected to be included.
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