The Influence Of Contingent Self-esteem And Self-esteem Variability On Reactions To Ostracism
Ramirez, Marie C.
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This study examined whether contingent self-esteem and self-esteem variability uniquely influenced reactions to social exclusion. Despite the extensive research done on ostracism and its effects on self-esteem, previous research has not explored how contingent self-esteem or self-esteem variability influence reactions to being socially excluded. A total of 122 students from the University of Texas in Arlington (UT-Arlington) took part in this study. Participants completed a global self-esteem measure and demographic information as part of the department prescreening. Next, participants completed a series of self-esteem and personality measures in an on-line study entitled "Who Am I?." Finally, each participant arrived separately, under the pretext of participating in a computer mental visualization task, to play "Cyberball" with "other" participants. They were randomly assigned to an inclusion, exclusion, or partial exclusion group. Overall, the first hypothesis resulted with greater increases in threatened needs and perceived social threat for excluded participants. Partially excluded participants felt slightly less threatened than excluded participants; while, included participants felt the least threatened overall with the experimental task (i.e. Cyberball). Furthermore, partially excluded persons higher in approval CSW experienced more threatened belongingness and more perceived social threat, especially when they were low on global self-esteem. Finally, self-esteem variability was not related to threatened needs or perceived social or physical threat.