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Social rejection and self- versus other-awareness

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
0022-1031
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
46
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.12.004
Keywords
  • Ostracism
  • Social Rejection
  • Exclusion
  • Self-Awareness
  • Memory
  • Interpersonal Sensitivity
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

Abstract Recent research ( Twenge, Catanese, & Baumeister, 2003) demonstrated decreased self-awareness among socially-rejected individuals as a defensive strategy designed to buffer the self from the acute distress of rejection. In the present study, we sought to demonstrate that this decreased self-awareness among socially-rejected individuals is: (a) primarily evident in social domains, as opposed to non-social domains and (b) accompanied by increased awareness of others’ behavior. Using a social memory paradigm, we found that rejected participants exhibited better memory for other-related social behaviors, but poorer memory for self-related social behaviors in comparison to accepted participants. These data provide evidence for a two-pronged response to social rejection characterized by both self-protective strategies and strategies aimed at regaining and maintaining social relationships.

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