Breaking News
March 20, 2019 - Biohaven’s Verdiperstat Receives Orphan Drug Designation From FDA For Multiple System Atrophy
March 20, 2019 - Smoking may limit body’s ability to fight dangerous form of skin cancer
March 20, 2019 - Researchers receive $9.7-million grant to develop new hearing-loss treatments for deaf
March 20, 2019 - TGen and ABL sign agreement to distribute new TB test technology
March 20, 2019 - UCD researchers lead development of new urine test to detect prostate cancer
March 20, 2019 - Miniature brains that can move muscles, grown in the lab
March 20, 2019 - Servier and Oncodesign announce research and drug development partnership
March 20, 2019 - FDA warns marketer of unapproved products claiming to treat addiction, chronic pain
March 20, 2019 - TB Medicine Pretomanid Enters Regulatory Review Process in the United States
March 20, 2019 - Breastfeeding can erase effects of prenatal violence for newborns
March 20, 2019 - Tens of Thousands of Heart Patients May Not Need Open-Heart Surgery
March 20, 2019 - Space worries – shingles affecting astronauts says NASA
March 20, 2019 - Study shows how AI can improve physicians’ diagnostic accuracy
March 20, 2019 - Dolomite Bio launches new scRNA-Seq Reagent Kit at AGBT 2019
March 20, 2019 - World’s oldest semen viable for artificial insemination
March 20, 2019 - FDA Approves Zulresso (brexanolone) for the Treatment of Post-Partum Depression
March 19, 2019 - How it manipulates us to tribalism
March 19, 2019 - How can doctors encourage patients to adopt healthier behaviors?
March 19, 2019 - Meet Hal: He's One Sick Robot
March 19, 2019 - Blood test and mathematical model can estimate preterm birth rate in low-resource countries
March 19, 2019 - TAVR procedure safe in patients with unusual valve anatomy
March 19, 2019 - Proteins in the eye may be potential source for cost-effective test to predict Alzheimer’s disease
March 19, 2019 - Opioid Prescriptions Dropped for New Users From 2012 to 2017
March 19, 2019 - New method may better predict the best treatment for burn wounds
March 19, 2019 - “Asian” isn’t specific enough for health data, research suggests
March 19, 2019 - ColumbiaDoctors Presents Honors for Outstanding Commitment to Patient Safety
March 19, 2019 - Innovative model identifies primate species with potential to transmit Zika in the Americas
March 19, 2019 - One-off surgery could offer hope to patients with high blood pressure
March 19, 2019 - Many pet owners interested in feeding their pets with plant-based diet
March 19, 2019 - How to Protect Your Kids From Drowning
March 19, 2019 - CEA Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
March 19, 2019 - Two years after face transplant, Andy Sandness’ smile shows his progress
March 19, 2019 - Registration now open for Stanford’s Big Data in Precision Health conference
March 19, 2019 - Gene Keeps Fear at Bay, But Only in Females
March 19, 2019 - Cholesterol lowering drug can also help treat cancer-associated cachexia
March 19, 2019 - GARDP and Evotec partner to tackle growing threat of antimicrobial resistance
March 19, 2019 - Ultrasound offers precise, minimally invasive way to measure cardiac output in children
March 19, 2019 - Study suggests potential new approach to treat atopic dermatitis
March 19, 2019 - Sense of control over life makes older adults feel younger
March 19, 2019 - Study shows how probiotics influence gut microbiota
March 19, 2019 - Study offers new evidence that narcolepsy is an autoimmune condition
March 19, 2019 - Breastfeeding may offer long-term heart health benefits for women
March 19, 2019 - Study of young athletes suggests snoring and sleep apnea are linked to sudden cardiac death
March 19, 2019 - Did Your Doctor ‘Ghost’ You? An Employment Contract May Be To Blame
March 19, 2019 - Food pantry clients more likely to make healthy choices when meal kits and recipe tastings are available
March 19, 2019 - Mental health problems among children increasing
March 19, 2019 - New ISO standard helps evaluate and manage impact of environmental damage
March 19, 2019 - CardioMEMS heart failure sensor reliably safe, effectively reduces hospitalizations
March 19, 2019 - Researchers report promising results of potential reversal agent
March 19, 2019 - Scientists identify brain circuit responsible for cocaine-seeking behavior during relapse
March 19, 2019 - First African-American Neuroscience Research Initiative launched to close the gap in health disparities
March 19, 2019 - Bimekizumab Demonstrated Long-Term Maintenance of Complete or Almost Complete Skin Disease Resolution for Psoriasis Patients in BE ABLE 2 Extension Study
March 19, 2019 - Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
March 19, 2019 - Huron Digital Pathology to unveil new ‘Scan Index Search’ platform at USCAP 2019
March 19, 2019 - Frequent intake of sugary drinks tied to greater risk of premature death
March 19, 2019 - Bruker showcases new analytical systems and applied market solutions at Pittcon 2019
March 19, 2019 - Framingham cardiovascular risk prediction model from the 1990s still gives the best results
March 19, 2019 - New article focuses on integrative health, value-based medicine, and whole systems research
March 19, 2019 - Foamix Announces FDA Acceptance of New Drug Application for FMX101 Minocycline Foam for the Treatment of Moderate-to-Severe Acne
March 19, 2019 - National survey of emergency dept management of self-harm highlights successes, room for improvement
March 19, 2019 - Scientists reverse alcohol-seeking behavior in rats with flip of a switch
March 19, 2019 - Researchers hope blood test that accurately diagnoses fibromyalgia could be available within five years
March 19, 2019 - New Planmeca ProScanner 2.0 offers fast and dependable intraoral imaging
March 19, 2019 - A new option for reducing LDL cholesterol in patients at high risk for heart attack, stroke
March 19, 2019 - Common medications to treat heartburn linked to increased risks for kidney failure
March 19, 2019 - Current HBV genome sequences help deduce ancient human population movements into Australia
March 19, 2019 - Pure omega-3 prescription drug significantly reduces the occurrence of ischemic events
March 19, 2019 - Researchers use big data to gain better understanding of hepatitis E virus
March 19, 2019 - Use of synthetic psychedelic linked to improvements in depression and anxiety
March 19, 2019 - GARP protein can be a potential target for immunotherapy against colorectal cancer
March 19, 2019 - Knee Pain Not Tied to Activity Levels in Knee Osteoarthritis
March 19, 2019 - Study shows benefits of delayed cord clamping in healthy babies
March 19, 2019 - Pharmacists can undertake overall clinical responsibility for patients, shows study
March 19, 2019 - A cell’s “self-destruct” function could yield new therapies
March 19, 2019 - Latest advances and perspectives of all AI types used in pharmaceutical R&D
March 19, 2019 - Prophylactic cranial irradiation used as standard approach for patients with NSCLC
March 19, 2019 - Sugar-sweetened beverages may be linked with increased risk of cardiovascular mortality
March 19, 2019 - AHA News: Black Woman in Their 50s Face Especially High Stroke Risk
March 19, 2019 - Secrets of early life revealed from less than half a teaspoon of blood
March 19, 2019 - Immune cells engineered to tattle on suspicious cells in the body
Researcher probes the pain of ostracism

Researcher probes the pain of ostracism

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
sad child
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The sad sensation of being left out inspires feelings of anger, sadness and revenge in humans – some of whom even express interest in joining gangs after being left out, according to research from the University of Virginia.

Andy Hales, a postdoctoral researcher in social psychology in UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, recently published several research papers that highlight the pain that comes with being socially ostracized. Underlying all of his work, he said, is the human motivation to maintain four basic psychological needs:

  • Belonging
  • Self-esteem
  • Control over one’s environment
  • Having a meaningful existence

Hales and his team created several different scenarios to see how people reacted when those basic needs were threatened by ostracism.

“In order to restore those needs, people can engage in a variety of behaviors,” Hales said.

“Some of them are pretty positive. People can play nice and be good group members to restore those needs,” he continued. “But there are also times when aggression may be a more attractive alternative, especially if people are trying to restore their needs for meaningful existence or control over the environment.”

In a study published in the Journal of Social Issues, Hales studied the reactions of people who would not ordinarily be interested in identifying with extreme groups. “But when you are ostracized and starved of social connection, you might be temporarily more open to groups that would be otherwise unappealing,” he said, much like a very hungry person might be more open to eating food that normally would not be tempting.

Two of his studies tested that theory using a game called “Cyber Ball.” In the ostracism condition, a player is excluded from the game and then approached by someone seeking signatures for a survey demanding reduced tuition by blockading campus and disrupting classes. “The survey asked how open participants would be to attending a meeting for this group, and people who had been ostracized indicated greater openness to attend the meeting,” Hales said. The survey used a one-to-10 scale to gauge the responses.

In the second experiment, Cyber Ball players – those who were engaged in the game and those who had been left out – were asked how open they would be to joining a street gang. Again, people who had been ostracized reported greater openness to joining a gang.

The Journal of Social Psychology published a different study that examined how people feel when their companions paid more attention to their cellphones than their partners. It was based on the primal idea that humans rely on one another for survival; someone who is ostracized would be at a serious disadvantage. “It would be adaptive for people to have a really sensitively tuned system for noticing when they’re being left out, and a result of that is that they might over-detect ostracism,” Hales said.

In the study, people were asked to write about times when they were ignored by someone using a cellphone. Those stories were compared to others in which study participants wrote about a time when their partner actively included and listened to them during a conversation. Both sets of people were then asked about those basic needs: belonging, self-esteem, control over their environment and having a meaningful existence.

“What we found is that people reported greater threats to their basic needs when they had recalled an experience where their conversation partner had used a cellphone,” Hales said.

An unexpected finding was that phone-induced ostracism hurts women more than men. Hales said that conclusion squares with other research on women having a more communal orientation and “potentially being more sensitively tuned to signs of disharmony in a group.”

A third collection of experiments revealed that feeling ignored or unacknowledged is worse for a person’s mental health than receiving bad news.

Six hundred men and women participated in four experiments that were designed to make them feel left out. The first two involved Cyber Ball. In the first condition, players who were excluded from the game reported feeling worse in the four basic human needs of belonging, self-esteem, control over one’s environment and having a meaningful existence.

In the second condition, some players were marginally included in the game. “When participants received just a few ball throws at the end of the game, just three throws were sufficient to help them feel better than people who had been ostracized the whole time,” Hales said.

“So, it seems like a little goes a long way in terms of acknowledgement and inclusion,” he said. “It didn’t fully restore their basic needs, so they still would have been better off had they not been ostracized at all. But there was a detectable effect of re-inclusion at the end.”

In the second pair of studies, all of which were published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, participants were asked to fill out applications to live in an apartment complex. They were told their goal was to get accepted to the complex. All were denied in the experiments. Those who received no explanation reported feeling embarrassed, awkward and uncomfortable. However, those who received an explanation of their rejection, even if it was cruel, said they recovered their basic needs significantly more than people who didn’t receive any message.

Hales said that result showed that being acknowledged eased the pain of the rejection.

“We know ostracism is a hurtful experience,” Hales said. “You’re essentially being treated like a ghost, like you’re not even there.”

Mindfulness training leads to kindness toward socially ostracized strangers, study finds

More information:
Andrew H. Hales et al. Cell phone-induced ostracism threatens fundamental needs, The Journal of Social Psychology (2018). DOI: 10.1080/00224545.2018.1439877

Selma C. Rudert et al. When Silence Is Not Golden: Why Acknowledgment Matters Even When Being Excluded, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin (2017). DOI: 10.1177/0146167217695554

Provided by
University of Virginia

Left out: Researcher probes the pain of ostracism (2019, February 22)
retrieved 6 March 2019

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles