Evidence for another response to ostracism : Solitude seeking

Published on Apr 1, 2016in Social Psychological and Personality Science
· DOI :10.1177/1948550615616169
Dongning Ren9
Estimated H-index: 9
(Purdue University),
Eric D. Wesselmann23
Estimated H-index: 23
(ISU: Illinois State University),
Kipling D. Williams79
Estimated H-index: 79
(Purdue University)
People may choose to move toward, move against, or move away in reaction to threatening social situations. Ostracism induces both prosocial behaviors (moving toward) and antisocial behaviors (moving against). One reason that moving away may be missing from these observed responses is the absence of including such a response in experiments. In four studies, we examined whether ostracized individuals would avail themselves of a moving away response (i.e., seeking solitude), if offered, and also whether one individual difference—introversion—predicted higher desires to move away. Correlational data (Study 1) showed that participants who reported more ostracism experiences indicated stronger desires to be alone; three experiments (Studies 2–4) demonstrated that manipulated ostracism experience increases the desire to be alone in a subsequent activity, especially among introverts. These findings suggest that ostracized individuals may desire a phase of solitude to cope with the social pain.
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