Does social exclusion motivate interpersonal reconnection? Resolving the "porcupine problem"

Jon K. Maner, C. Nathan DeWall, Roy F. Baumeister, Mark Schaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

852 Scopus citations


Evidence from 6 experiments supports the social reconnection hypothesis, which posits that the experience of social exclusion increases the motivation to forge social bonds with new sources of potential affiliation. Threat of social exclusion led participants to express greater interest in making new friends, to increase their desire to work with others, to form more positive impressions of novel social targets, and to assign greater rewards to new interaction partners. Findings also suggest potential boundary conditions to the social reconnection hypothesis. Excluded individuals did not seem to seek reconnection with the specific perpetrators of exclusion or with novel partners with whom no face-to-face interaction was anticipated. Furthermore, fear of negative evaluation moderated responses to exclusion such that participants low in fear of negative evaluation responded to new interaction partners in an affiliative fashion, whereas participants high in fear of negative evaluation did not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-55
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Affiliation
  • Exclusion
  • New friendship formation
  • Person perception
  • Rejection
  • Social anxiety
  • Social reconnection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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