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Exploring psychological factors influencing the punishment after social exclusion in female adults and adolescents

  • THE KOREAN JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • 2017, 30(1), pp.177-193
  • Publisher : The Korean Society For Developmental Psychology
  • Research Area : Social Science > Psychological Science

정유진 1 So-Yeon Kim 1

1덕성여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

We investigated critical factors and individual characteristics explaining punishment behavior after experiencing social exclusion. Our findings suggest that experiencing social exclusion can influence one's behavior and mood; such experience causes the excluded person to develop a negative attitude and take actions intended to punish the excluding parties. Female adults (19 - 24 years old) and female adolescents (13-15 years old) participated in this study. Participants completed written questionnaires with scales designed to measure their perspective taking, rejection sensitivity, and resistance to peer influence. Each participant subsequently experienced both social inclusion and exclusion while participating in the Cyber ball task developed by Williams (2000). After the Cyber ball task, participants played a Dictator Game in which they divided coins between themselves and players who had previously either included or excluded them during the Cyber ball task. Punishment behavior was measured by the participants’ unfairness in distributing coins to the other party. The results revealed that participants in both age groups selectively punished people who had excluded them in the Cyber ball task. In the adult group, this tendency towards punishment was associated with resistance to peer influence and the level of mood change. However, the tendency was associated with rejection sensitivity in the adolescent group. These results suggest that although both age groups exhibited negative attitudes and punishment tendencies to excluders after social exclusion, the triggering factors of the punishment were different between the two age groups. It is important to note that both the resistance to peer influence and rejection sensitivity found in each age group were related to inherent characteristics, and not due to changes in mood or social distress.

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