Four studies (N = 643) supported the hypothesis that social exclusion would reduce the global perception of life as meaningful. Social exclusion was manipulated experimentally by having a confederate refuse to meet participants after seeing their videotaped introduction (Study 1) and by ostracizing participants in a computerized ball-tossing game (Study 2). Compared to control condition and acceptance conditions, social exclusion led to perceiving life as less meaningful. Exclusion was also operationalized as self-reported loneliness, which was a better predictor of low meaning than other potent variables (Study 3). Study 4 found support for Baumeister's model of meaning (1991), by demonstrating that the effect of exclusion on meaning was mediated by purpose, value, and positive self-worth.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental Social Psychology|
|State||Published - Jul 2009|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The present research was supported by Grant MH65559 from the National Institutes of Health.
- Social rejection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science