01 Dec 2022
17:00  - 18:00


Colloquium / James Wirth

Ostracism as a social tool for managing burdensome others

James Wirth, Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University

Abstract: Ostracism (being excluded and ignored) is an unpleasant experience which triggers social pain. Given ostracism’s extensive harm, why would individuals use this social tool? One use of ostracism is to remove burdensome others ? individuals whose costs outweigh their benefits. Ostracizing a burdensome other includes not throwing the ball to a player who holds the ball extensively during a virtual ball toss game, not selected a poor performer to do a group task, and excluding a Facebook friend who makes interactions unpleasant and posts inflammatory content. Across these contexts, an alarm in the form of psychological pain, may alert individuals to a burdensome group member and motivate excluding them. In the most recent research, we are examining if burden and psychological pain also motivate intergroup social exclusion—exclusion of others based on their group membership. This research further tests the burden—ostracism link and is an initial investigation of intergroup social exclusion.

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