The Effects of Ostracism on Self-Regulation for Sociotropic and Autonomous Individuals
Relkov, Tonia Giuliette
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The present study investigated individual differences in the relation between ostracism and self-regulation. Previous research shows that being excluded leads to reduced performance on tasks that require self-regulation. Self-regulation deficits have been linked to many mental health issues, including depression. According to the diathesis-stress theory, depression results from pre-existing vulnerabilities combined with stressful events. Two vulnerabilities to depression are the personality variables sociotropy and autonomy, characterized by high levels of interpersonal dependence and autonomy/achievement, respectively. In this study it was predicted that those high in sociotropy would show greater self-regulation deficits after experiencing ostracism, while those high in autonomy would experience a buffering effect. Participants played a game called Cyberball that includes or excludes the player. They then completed a measure of self-regulation. Results show that sociotropy moderated the relation between ostracism and cookies eaten. This suggests that individuals overly invested in interpersonal relationships react differently to ostracism.