Alone and Without Purpose: Life Loses Meaning Following Social Exclusion.

TitleAlone and Without Purpose: Life Loses Meaning Following Social Exclusion.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
JournalJournal of experimental social psychology
Volume45
Issue4
Pagination686-694
ISSN0022-1031
Abstract

Four studies (N = 643) supported the hypothesis that social exclusion would reduce the global perception of life as meaningful. Social exclusion was manipulated experimentally by having a confederate refuse to meet participants after seeing their videotaped introduction (Study 1) and by ostracizing participants in a computerized ball-tossing game (Study 2). Compared to control condition and acceptance conditions, social exclusion led to perceiving life as less meaningful. Exclusion was also operationalized as self-reported loneliness, which was a better predictor of low meaning than other potent variables (Study 3). Study 4 found support for Baumeister's model of meaning (1991), by demonstrating that the effect of exclusion on meaning was mediated by purpose, value, and positive self-worth.

DOI10.1016/j.jesp.2009.03.007
Short TitleJ Exp Soc Psychol
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