Individual Differences Associated with Emotional and Behavioral Responses to Ambiguous Social Situations in which Rejection Might be Inferred

Published on Sep 20, 2016in Journal of General Psychology
· DOI :10.1080/00221309.2016.1214102
Tucker L. Jones3
Estimated H-index: 3
(KSU: Kansas State University),
Mark A. Barnett19
Estimated H-index: 19
(KSU: Kansas State University)
+ 1 AuthorsTammy L. Sonnentag3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Xavier University)
Source
Abstract
ABSTRACTThis study sought to examine the extent to which undergraduates' experiences with and attitudes relevant to rejection may be associated with their emotional and behavioral responses to ambiguous social situations in which rejection might be inferred. Undergraduate students completed questionnaires that assessed their experiences with and attitudes relevant to being rejected. Next, each participant read six hypothetical scenarios that described various situations that could be interpreted as interpersonal rejection. Following each scenario, participants completed questionnaires that assessed their emotional and behavioral responses to the hypothetical situation. Analyses revealed that the participants' experiences with rejection (and, to a lesser extent, their rejection-relevant attitudes) were associated with a negative emotional response and some negative behavioral responses. In sum, when another individual's interpersonal behavior has an uncertain intent, undergraduates' prior experiences with ...
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
2 Citations
61 Citations
References27
Newest
#1Laura E. Helfritz-Sinville (Baylor University)H-Index: 2
#2Matthew S. Stanford (Baylor University)H-Index: 43
Abstract Previous research has demonstrated an association between trait aggression and hostile attribution bias, or the tendency to interpret others’ actions as hostile, yet little research has been devoted to exploring its role in subtypes of aggression. We used hypothetical vignettes to explore hostile attribution bias in impulsive aggressors, premeditated aggressors, and non-aggressive controls. Contrary to our prediction that impulsive aggressors would be more prone to hostile attribution b...
24 CitationsSource
#1Daniel Ewon Choe (University of Pittsburgh)H-Index: 13
#2Jonathan D. Lane (Harvard University)H-Index: 19
Last. Sheryl L. Olson (UM: University of Michigan)H-Index: 38
view all 4 authors...
This prospective longitudinal study provides evidence of preschool-age precursors of hostile attribution bias in young school-age children, a topic that has received little empirical attention. We examined multiple risk domains, including laboratory and observational assessments of children's social-cognition, general cognitive functioning, effortful control, and peer aggression. Preschoolers (N = 231) with a more advanced theory-of-mind, better emotion understanding, and higher IQ made fewer ho...
43 CitationsSource
#1Mark A. Barnett (KSU: Kansas State University)H-Index: 19
#2Marcella B. Nichols (KSU: Kansas State University)H-Index: 2
Last. Taylor W. Wadian (KSU: Kansas State University)H-Index: 3
view all 4 authors...
A total of 69 sixth- through eighth-grade students rated their experiences with antisocial and prosocial teases as well as their general attitudes toward teases. Subsequently, the participants read hard copies of four ambiguous teases, one at a time, posted on a simulation of ''their'' Facebook wall by four different, hypothetical acquaintances. After reading each tease, the participants were asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed their emotional and behavioral response to the tease. Co...
4 CitationsSource
#1Melanie J. Zimmer-Gembeck (Griffith University)H-Index: 59
#2Drew Nesdale (Griffith University)H-Index: 44
Objective Rejection sensitivity (RS) is a tendency to expect, perceive, and overreact to rejection. Our objective was to examine whether anxious and angry RS have specific associations with negative social reactions, and whether responses are intensified in situations of high rejection ambiguity. Method In two studies, youth (N = 464 and N = 371) reported their RS and anticipated responses to social scenarios. In Study 1, all scenarios portrayed overt rejection events. In Study 2, participants w...
66 CitationsSource
#1Mark A. Barnett (KSU: Kansas State University)H-Index: 19
#2Natalie D. Barlett (KSU: Kansas State University)H-Index: 3
Last. Katherine E. Brewton (UMN: University of Minnesota)H-Index: 6
view all 5 authors...
The authors used two studies involving 5th- and 6th-grade children to examine factors potentially associated with individual differences in children's perceptions of and anticipated responses to ambiguous teases. Study 1 assessed the extent to which the children would expect recipients to feel hurt in response to a series of ambiguous teases and whether the children would perceive those teases as more like antisocial or prosocial teases. In Study 2 the children were asked to evaluate emotional a...
6 CitationsSource
#1Kathy R. Berenson (Columbia University)H-Index: 18
#2Anett Gyurak (University of California, Berkeley)H-Index: 27
Last. Daniel S. PineH-Index: 145
view all 8 authors...
Two studies tested the hypothesis that Rejection Sensitivity (RS) increases vulnerability to disruption of attention by social threat cues, as would be consistent with prior evidence that it motivates individuals to prioritize detecting and managing potential rejection at a cost to other personal and interpersonal goals. In Study 1, RS predicted disruption of ongoing goal-directed attention by social threat but not negative words in an Emotional Stroop task. In Study 2, RS predicted attentional ...
171 CitationsSource
#1C. Nathan DeWall (UK: University of Kentucky)H-Index: 66
#2Jean M. Twenge (SDSU: San Diego State University)H-Index: 83
Last. Roy F. Baumeister (FSU: Florida State University)H-Index: 173
view all 4 authors...
Prior research has confirmed a casual path between social rejection and aggression, but there has been no clear explanation of why social rejection causes aggression. A series of experiments tested the hypothesis that social exclusion increases the inclination to perceive neutral information as hostile, which has implications for aggression. Compared to accepted and control participants, socially excluded participants were more likely to rate aggressive and ambiguous words as similar (Experiment...
230 CitationsSource
#1Ozlem Ayduk (University of California, Berkeley)H-Index: 50
#2Anett Gyurak (University of California, Berkeley)H-Index: 27
Last. Anna Luerssen (University of California, Berkeley)H-Index: 5
view all 3 authors...
Prior research shows that social rejection elicits aggression. In this study, we investigated whether this is moderated by individual differences in Rejection Sensitivity (RS) – a processing disposition to anxiously expect, readily perceive and overreact to rejection. Participants (N = 129) took part in a purported web-based social interaction in which they were either rejected or not by a potential partner. Subsequently, they were given the opportunity to allocate hot sauce to the perpetrator, ...
146 CitationsSource
#1Barbara G. Tabachnick (CSUN: California State University, Northridge)H-Index: 27
#2Linda S. Fidell (CSUN: California State University, Northridge)H-Index: 12
9,137 Citations
#1Mark R. Leary (Wake Forest University)H-Index: 107
#2Jean M. Twenge (SDSU: San Diego State University)H-Index: 83
Last. Erin Quinlivan (PSU: Pennsylvania State University)H-Index: 2
view all 3 authors...
This article reviews the literature on the relationship between interpersonal rejection and aggression. Four bodies of research are summarized: laboratory experiments that manipulate rejection, rejection among adults in everyday life, rejection in childhood, and individual differences that may moderate the relationship. The theoretical mechanisms behind the effect are then explored. Possible explanations for why rejection leads to anger and aggression include: rejection as a source of pain, reje...
434 CitationsSource
Cited By3
Newest
#1Tucker L. Jones (KSU: Kansas State University)H-Index: 3
#2Mark A. Barnett (KSU: Kansas State University)H-Index: 19
Although there is an extensive literature on interpersonal rejection, individual studies that have examined adults’ emotional and behavioral responses to rejection have tended to limit their scope ...
Source
Drawing from and extending rejection sensitivity (RS) theory, we tested a serial mediation pathway model, whereby perceived parenting practices were expected to be indirectly related to participants’ depressive and trait-anxious symptoms through RS, as well as emotional and behavioural responses to rejection. Participants were 628 adolescents and young adults (M = 19.8 years, SD = 2.6, 65.3% female) completing self-report measures assessing current perceived parenting practices, RS, emotion dysr...
10 CitationsSource