Rejected, But For Whom?: Why It Feels Worse To Be Rejected For Someone Rather Than No One
When a person experiences interpersonal rejection, there are two ways this rebuff can take place. The rejector might choose somebody else (comparative rejection) or nobody else (noncomparative rejection) instead of the rejectee. In seven studies, we examined which type of rejection feels worse and why this is. A total of 1,095 participants recalled, evaluated, or experienced comparative rejection, noncomparative rejection, or both. While the context of the rejections varied from casual, to professional, to romantic, we found the same result every time. It feels worse to be rejected for somebody rather than nobody. And feelings of jealousy-not different attributions-are key to explaining why this is.
rejection; jealousy; attribution
Industrial and Labor Relations
M.S., Industrial and Labor Relations
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis