Behavior Research Methods

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 174–180 | Cite as

Cyberball: A program for use in research on interpersonal ostracism and acceptance

  • Kipling D. WilliamsEmail author
  • Blair Jarvis


Since the mid-1990s, research on interpersonal acceptance and exclusion has proliferated, and several paradigms have evolved that vary in their efficiency, context specificity, and strength. This article describes one such paradigm, Cyberball, which is an ostensibly online ball-tossing game that participants believe they are playing with two or three others. In fact, the “others” are controlled by the programmer. The course and speed of the game, the frequency of inclusion, player information, and iconic representation are all options the researcher can regulate. The game was designed to manipulate independent variables (e.g., ostracism) but can also be used as a dependent measure of prejudice and discrimination. The game works on both PC and Macintosh (OS X) platforms and is freely available.


Social Exclusion Outgroup Member Meaningful Existence Iconic Representation Social Ostracism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteIndiana
  2. 2.Empirisoft CorporationNew York

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