Safety in beauty: Social exclusion, antisocial responses, and the desire to reconnect

Nilüfer Aydin, Maria Agthe, Michaela Pfundmair, Dieter Frey, Nathan Dewall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Individuals regularly exhibit antisocial responses after social exclusion. In four unregistered studies (1a, 1b, 2, and 3) and one preregistered experiment (Study 4), we tested the hypothesis that the excluder’s physical attractiveness reduces the relationship between social exclusion and negative responding. Results showed that exclusion by a highly attractive source caused less aggressive and more prosocial responses than exclusion by a less attractive source (Studies 1–3). The interaction effect was mediated by perceived likeability of the excluding person (Study 3). The preregistered experiment did not confirm the interactive effect between exclusion and attractiveness (Study 4); however, exploratory analyses indicated the effect on pro- (but not antisocial) responding. Inconsistent findings as well as the theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-225
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
2017 Hogrefe Publishing


  • Antisocial
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Prosocial responses
  • Reconnection
  • Social exclusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology (all)


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