Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 361–373 | Cite as

Ostracism Online: A social media ostracism paradigm

  • Wouter Wolf
  • Ana Levordashka
  • Johanna R. Ruff
  • Steven Kraaijeveld
  • Jan-Matthis Lueckmann
  • Kipling D. Williams
Brief Communication

Abstract

We describe Ostracism Online, a novel, social media–based ostracism paradigm designed to (1) keep social interaction experimentally controlled, (2) provide researchers with the flexibility to manipulate the properties of the social situation to fit their research purposes, (3) be suitable for online data collection, (4) be convenient for studying subsequent within-group behavior, and (5) be ecologically valid. After collecting data online, we compared the Ostracism Online paradigm with the Cyberball paradigm (Williams & Jarvis Behavior Research Methods, 38, 174–180, 2006) on need-threat and mood questionnaire scores (van Beest & Williams Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 91, 918–928, 2006). We also examined whether ostracized targets of either paradigm would be more likely to conform to their group members than if they had been included. Using a Bayesian analysis of variance to examine the individual effects of the different paradigms and to compare these effects across paradigms, we found analogous effects on need-threat and mood. Perhaps because we examined conformity to the ostracizers (rather than neutral sources), neither paradigm showed effects of ostracism on conformity. We conclude that Ostracism Online is a cost-effective, easy to use, and ecologically valid research tool for studying the psychological and behavioral effects of ostracism.

Keywords

Ostracism Rejection Exclusion Social media 

Supplementary material

13428_2014_475_MOESM1_ESM.doc (93 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 93 kb)
13428_2014_475_MOESM2_ESM.png (82 kb)
ESM 2(PNG 81 kb)

References

  1. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497–529.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernstein, M. J., Sacco, D. F., Brown, C. M., Young, S. G., & Claypool, H. M. (2010). A preference for genuine smiles following social exclusion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 196–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brenner, J. (2013). The demographics of social media users—2012. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/March/Pew-Internet-Social-Networking-full-detail.aspx
  4. Buhrmester, M., Kwang, T., & Gosling, S. D. (2011). Amazon’s Mechanical Turk: A new source of inexpensive, yet high-quality, data? Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6, 3–5. doi:10.1177/1745691610393980 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carter-Sowell, A. R., Chen, Z., & Williams, K. D. (2008). Ostracism increases social susceptibility. Social Influence, 3, 143–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crawford, K. (2009). Following you: Disciplines of listening in social media. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 23, 525–535. doi:10.1080/10304310903003270 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. DeWall, C. N., Maner, J. K., & Rouby, D. A. (2009). Social exclusion and early-stage interpersonal perception: Selective attention to signs of acceptance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 729–741. doi:10.1037/a0014634 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Eisenberger, N. I., Lieberman, M. D., & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does rejection hurt? An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science. 302(5643), 290–292.Google Scholar
  9. French, J. W., Ekstrom, R. B., & Price, L. A. (1963). Kit of reference tests for cognitive factors. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.Google Scholar
  10. Gardner, W. L., Pickett, C. L., & Brewer, M. B. (2000). Social exclusion and selective memory: How the need to belong influences memory for social events. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 486–496. doi:10.1177/0146167200266007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gelman, A. (2005). Analysis of variance? Why it is more important than ever. The Annals of Statistics, 33, 1–53. doi:10.1214/009053604000001048 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gelman, A. (2006). Prior distributions for variance parameters in hierarchical models. Bayesian Analysis, 1, 515–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goodwin, S. A., Williams, K. D., & Carter-Sowell, A. R. (2010). The psychological sting of stigma: The costs of attributing ostracism to racism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 612–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hampton, K. N., & Goulet, L. (2011). Social networking sites and our lives. Retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Commentary/2012/March/Pew-Internet-Social-Networking-full-detail.aspx
  15. IJzerman, H., Gallucci, M., Pouw, W. T. J. L., Weißgerber, S. C., van Doesum, N. J., & Williams, K. D. (2012). Cold-blooded loneliness: Social exclusion leads to lower skin temperature. Acta Psychologica, 140, 283–288.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Jamieson, J., Harkins, S. G., & Williams, K. D. (2010). Need-threat can motivate performance after ostracism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 690–702.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Kenrick, D. T., Griskevicius, V., Neuberg, S. L., & Schaller, M. (2010). Renovating the pyramid of needs: Contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5, 292–314. doi:10.1177/1745691610369469 CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Kraut, R., Olson, J., Banaji, M., Bruckman, A., Cohen, J., & Couper, M. (2004). Psychological research online: Report of Board of Scientific Affairs’ Advisory Group on the conduct of research on the Internet. The American Psychologist, 59, 105–117. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.59.2.105 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kross, E., Bergman, M. G., Mischel, W., Smith, E. E., & Wager, T. D. (2011). Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(15), 6270–6275.Google Scholar
  20. Kruschke, J. K. (2010). Doing Bayesian data analysis: A tutorial with R and BUGS. Burlington, MA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  21. Nezlek, J. B., Kowalski, R. M., Leary, M. R., Blevins, T., & Holgate, S. (1997). Personality moderators of reactions to interpersonal rejection: Depression and trait self-esteem. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1235–1244. doi:10.1177/01461672972312001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nielsen. (2012). State of the media: The social media report 2012. Retrieved from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/reports/2013.html?tag=Category:Online
  23. Oppenheimer, D. M., Meyvis, T., & Davidenko, N. (2009). Instructional manipulation checks: Detecting satisficing to increase statistical power. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 867–872. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2009.03.009 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Pickett, C. L., Gardner, W. L., & Knowles, M. (2004). Getting a cue: The need to belong and enhanced sensitivity to social cues. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1095–1107. doi:10.1177/0146167203262085 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Riva, G. (2002). The sociocognitive psychology of computer-mediated communication: The present and future of technology-based interactions. Cyberpsychology & Behavior, 5, 581–598.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Riva, P., Williams, K. D., Torstrick, A., & Montali, L. (2014). Orders to shoot (a camera): Effects of ostracism on obedience. Journal of Social Psychology, 154, 208–216.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Sacco, D., Wirth, J. H., Hugenberg, K., Chen, Z., & Williams, K. D. (2011). The world in black and white: Ostracism enhances the categorical perception of social information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 836–842.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Skitka, L. J., & Sargis, E. G. (2006). The Internet as psychological laboratory. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 529–555. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190048 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Smith, A., & Williams, K. D. (2004). R U There? Ostracism by cell phone text messages. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 8, 291–301. doi:10.1037/1089-2699.8.4.291 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Twenge, J. M., Baumeister, R. F., Tice, D. M., & Stucke, T. S. (2001). If you can’t join them, beat them: Effects of social exclusion on aggressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 1058–1069. doi:10.1037//0022-3514.81.6.1058 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Van Beest, I., & Williams, K. D. (2006). When inclusion costs and ostracism pays, ostracism still hurts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 918–928. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.5.918 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Williams, K. D. (2007a). Ostracism: The kiss of social death. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 1, 236–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Williams, K. D. (2007b). Ostracism. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 425–452. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085641 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Williams, K. D. (2009). Ostracism: A temporal need-threat model. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 41, pp. 275–314). Burlington: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/S0065-2601(08)00406-1 Google Scholar
  35. Williams, K. D., Cheung, C. K. T., & Choi, W. (2000). Cyberostracism: Effects of being ignored over the Internet. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 748–762.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Williams, K. D., Govan, C. L., Croker, V., Tynan, D., Cruickshank, M., & Lam, A. (2002). Investigations into differences between social and cyber ostracism. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, & Practice, 6, 65–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Williams, K. D., & Jarvis, B. (2006). Cyberball: A program for use in research on interpersonal ostracism and acceptance. Behavior Research Methods, 38, 174–180.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Williams, K. D., & Sommer, K. L. (1997). Social ostracism by coworkers: Does rejection lead to loafing or compensation? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 693–706. doi:10.1177/0146167297237003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Williams, K. D., & Wesselmann, E. D. (2011). Ostracism in Cyberspace: Being ignored and excluded in electronic-based interactions. In Z. Birchmeier, B. Dietz-Uhler, & G. Stasser (Eds.), Strategic use of technology (pp. 127–144). New York: Cambridge.Google Scholar
  40. Zhong, C. B., & Leonardelli, G. J. (2008). Cold and lonely: Does social exclusion literally feel cold? Psychological Science, 19, 838–842.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wouter Wolf
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ana Levordashka
    • 1
    • 4
  • Johanna R. Ruff
    • 1
  • Steven Kraaijeveld
    • 1
  • Jan-Matthis Lueckmann
    • 1
  • Kipling D. Williams
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social and Organizational PsychologyFree University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  3. 3.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  4. 4.Knowledge Media Research CenterTübingenGermany

Personalised recommendations