Methods for Investigating Social Exclusion
It can be daunting to choose which paradigm to use to investigate a new research question. This chapter is designed to help researchers select paradigms they can use to investigate questions about social exclusion and to further explain the methods social exclusion researchers used to produce their findings. To achieve these goals, I categorize social exclusion research into three categories based on the methods used to deliver the social exclusion manipulations: interacting with computer avatars, interacting with other individuals, and written manipulations. Manipulations based on interacting with computer avatars involve computer controlled agents delivering the manipulation, such as not including participants in a ball-toss game (i.e., Cyberball), word association game (i.e., Atimia), or during a video conversation (i.e., O-cam). Computer agents may not “like” a participant’s profile (i.e., ostracism online) or may not share all available information (i.e., “being out of the loop”). Manipulations involving interacting with others include being rejected during get-acquainted interactions, getting left out of chat room and text message conversations, or being rejected by a partner following exchanging information via videotapes. Written manipulations include reliving or pre-living social exclusion experiences or getting feedback, based on a survey, that you will live a life alone. For each of these specific categories, I discuss the specific paradigms researchers used, provide some examples of how the paradigms work, and discuss the general benefits and drawbacks of each paradigm. To help guide you through the decision on which social exclusion paradigms might work best, I include a decision making tree.
KeywordsOstracism Rejection Exclusion Methods Cyberball Life alone paradigm Get-acquainted paradigm Reliving social exclusion Eye gaze Ostracism online
I would like to thank Dr. Brad Okdie for his formative feedback on previous versions of this chapter, the two reviewers for their insightful feedback, and Chase Altier for his research assistance.
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