The Cost of Exclusion and the Benefit of Overinclusion: Individual Differences Moderate Sensitivity to Inclusionary Status
The current study examined the impact of varying degrees of exclusion and overinclusion on mood and the needs for belonging and control. Participants played an online ball tossing game with two computerized confederates in which they were initially included, then gradually excluded or overincluded. Participants in the exclusion condition suffered a reduction in mood and impaired psychological needs (belonging, control). This effect was evident after receiving four (7.4%) fewer tosses than when included. Overinclusion resulted in improved psychological needs, but not mood. Rejection sensitivity (RS) did not moderate the effect of exclusion, demonstrating the negative and highly detectable nature of exclusion. RS, however, did moderate the effect of overinclusion, such that high RS individuals experienced improved mood and psychological needs, whereas low RS individuals did not. Implications for future research are discussed.
exclusion; overinclusion; rejection sensitivity; individual differences
dissertation or thesis