Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Social/Personality Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 86 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Mark Muraven

Committee Members

Sylvia Roch, Monica Rodriguez


Aggression, Anti-Social, Emotion, Ostracism, Pro-Social, Social Exclusion, Social isolation, Marginality, Social, Loneliness, Alienation (Social psychology), Aggressiveness

Subject Categories

Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Psychology


Two major inconsistencies in social exclusion research have left a gap in our understanding of how people perceive the exclusion experience. One discrepancy involves a meta-analysis that indicated exclusion usually causes negative emotions (most notably anger and sadness), whereas another meta-analysis determined there was no emotional impact from exclusion. Another inconsistency in exclusion literature is that whereas multitude of studies that indicate exclusion increases aggressive behavior, a few studies have suggested that exclusion increases pro-social behavior. Based on these mixed findings, I proposed that when excluded individuals perceive the excluders to dislike or disrespect them, these perceptions lead to different emotional states and that the specific emotions of anger and sadness can lead to different behavioral responses (i.e., aggression and pro-social behavior, respectively). Furthermore, negative emotions were predicted to be experienced after some time was provided to process the exclusion experience. Two experiments manipulated exclusion, reason for exclusion (dislike or disrespect), and the order the emotion measures were administered (to allow some participants some time before reporting their emotional state). Consistent with experimental hypotheses, Experiment 1 suggested that feeling disrespected and angry mediated the relationship between feeling excluded and aggression. In Experiment 2, feeling disliked and sad appeared to mediate the relationship between feelings of exclusion and pro-social behavior. However, the idea that negative emotions would be reported after being allowed time to process the exclusion experience was confirmed in Experiment 1, but not Experiment 2.