The push of social pain: Does rejection's sting motivate subsequent social reconnection?

TitleThe push of social pain: Does rejection's sting motivate subsequent social reconnection?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
JournalCognitive, affective & behavioral neuroscience
Volume16
Issue3
Pagination541-50
ISSN1530-7026
Abstract

Physical pain motivates the healing of somatic injuries, yet it remains unknown whether social pain serves a similarly reparative function toward social injuries. Given the substantial overlap between physical and social pain, we predicted that social pain would mediate the effect of rejection on greater motivation for social reconnection and affiliative behavior toward rejecters. In Study 1, the effect of rejection on an increased need to belong was mediated by reports of more intense social pain. In Study 2, three neural signatures of social pain (i.e., activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, left and right anterior insula during social rejection), each predicted greater behavioral proximity to rejecters. Our findings reify the overlap between social and physical pain. Furthermore, these results are some of the first to demonstrate the reparative nature of social pain and lend insight into how this process may be harnessed to promote postrejection reconnection.

URLhttps://dx.doi.org/10.3758/s13415-016-0412-9
DOI10.3758/s13415-016-0412-9
Short TitleCogn Affect Behav Neurosci
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