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Encyclopedia > Social rejection
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Social rejection exists in a variety of different forms and includes both interpersonal rejection or peer rejection, and romantic rejection. It occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a social relationship or social interaction. A person can be rejected on an individual basis or by an entire group of people. Furthermore, rejection can occur either actively by bullying, teasing, or ridiculing, or passively by ignoring the rejected person (e.g. the silent treatment). Rejection can be perceived when it is not actually present. Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm to others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation. ... Teasing is the act of playfully disturbing another person, either with words or with actions. ... In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. ...


Because humans are social creatures, and because it is impossible to interact with everyone all the time, some level of rejection is an inevitable part of life. However, rejection can become a problem when it is excessive, when the relationship is important, when the rejection is by an entire group, or when the individual is particularly sensitive to rejection.[1] Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ...


The experience of rejection can potentially lead to a number of adverse psychological consequences such as loneliness, reduced self-esteem, aggression, and depression (clinical).[2] It can also lead to feelings of insecurity and a heightened sensitivity to future rejection. Loneliness is an emotional state in which a person experiences a powerful feeling of emptiness and isolation. ... In psychology, self-esteem or self-worth is a persons self-image at an emotional level; circumventing reason and logic. ... In psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. ... On the Threshold of Eternity. ...

Contents

Need for acceptance

Rejection can be emotionally painful because of the social nature of human beings and our basic need to be accepted in groups. Abraham Maslow and other theorists have suggested that the need for love and belongingness is a fundamental human motivation.[3] All humans, even introverts, require a certain amount of social acceptance and interaction to be psychologically healthy. Being a member of a group is important for social identity, which is a key component of the self-concept. Rejection by an entire group of people can have especially adverse effects, particularly when it results in social isolation. Abraham (Harold) Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was an American psychologist. ... Look up Motivation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Introvert is a rock band from Miami, Florida. ... Social Identity Theory is a theory formed by Henri Tajfel and John Turner to understand the psychological basis of intergroup discrimination. ... A persons self image is the mental picture, generally of a kind that is quite resistant to change, that depicts not only details that are potentially available to objective investigation by others (height, weight, hair color, nature of external genitalia, I.Q. score, is this person double-jointed, etc. ...


Social psychological research confirms the motivational basis of the need for acceptance. Specifically, fear of rejection can lead to conformity to peer pressure (sometimes called normative influence), and compliance to the demands of others. Our need for affiliation and social interaction appears to be particularly strong when we are under stress. Social psychology is the scientific study of how peoples thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others (Allport, 1985). ... he This article is about the psychological concept of conformity. ... Peer pressure comprises a set of group dynamics whereby a group in which one feels comfortable may override personal habits, individual moral inhibitions or idiosyncratic desires to impose a group norm of attitudes and/or behaviors. ... Social psychology is the scientific study of how peoples thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others (Allport, 1985). ...


Rejection in childhood

Rejection has been measured in children using sociometry and other peer rating methods. Studies typically show that some children are popular, receiving generally high ratings, many are in the middle, with moderate ratings, and a minority of children are rejected, showing generally low ratings. Most research in this area examines children who are generally rejected by the majority of their peers. Sociometry is the science and art of measuring relationships developed by psychotherapist Jacob L. Moreno in his studies of the relationship between social configurations or structures and psychological well-being. ...


Peer rejection, once established, tends to be stable over time, and thus difficult for a child to overcome.[4]


Rejected children are likely to have decreased self-esteem, and to be at greater risk for internalizing problems like depression.[5] Some rejected children display externalizing behavior and show aggression rather than depression. This research is largely correlational, but there is evidence that aggressive behavior in children precedes and may contribute to subsequent rejection experiences. In psychology, self-esteem or self-worth is a persons self-image at an emotional level; circumventing reason and logic. ... In psychology and other social and behavioral sciences, aggression refers to behavior that is intended to cause harm or pain. ...


Rejection in the laboratory

The short-term effects of rejection have been studied in the social psychological laboratory. One common experimental technique is the "ball tossing" paradigm, which involves a group of three people tossing a ball back and forth. Unbeknownst to the actual participant, two members of the group are working for the experimenter and following a pre-arranged script. In a typical experiment, half of the subjects will be excluded from the activity after a few tosses and never get the ball again. Only a few minutes of this treatment are sufficient to produce negative emotions in the target, including anger and sadness. This effect occurs regardless of self-esteem and other personality differences. A computer version of the task known as "cyberball" has also been developed and leads to similar results. Surprisingly, people feel rejected even when they know they are only playing against the computer. Look up Emotion in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Gender differences have been found in these experiments. In one study, women showed greater nonverbal engagement whereas men disengaged faster and showed face-saving techniques, such as pretending to be uninterested. The researchers concluded that women seek to regain a sense of belonging whereas men are more interested in regaining self-esteem.[6] This article is about gender differences in humans. ...


Romantic rejection

In contrast to research on childhood rejection, which focuses primarily on rejection by a group, research on romantic rejection focuses on a single individual rejecting another.


In teenagers and adults, romantic rejection occurs when a person refuses the romantic advances of another or unilaterally ends an existing relationship. Unrequited love is a common state in youth, but mutual love becomes more typical as people get older. Suitor redirects here. ... An intimate relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship. ... Unrequited love is love that is not reciprocated, even though reciprocation is usually deeply desired. ...


One reason why romantic rejection is so common in society is a tendency called falling upward. People generally desire mates that are higher but not lower than themselves on such characteristics as status and physical attractiveness.[7] When someone falls in love with a person who has aspirations that are higher, that love is less likely to be reciprocated, potentially leading to rejection.


Rejection sensitivity

Individuals differ widely in their level of rejection sensitivity. According to Geraldine Downey and her colleagues at Columbia University, rejection sensitivity is a tendency to anxiously expect, readily perceive, and over-react to social rejection.[8] For those who have a high level of rejection sensitivity, an ambiguous social interaction may be perceived as rejection. This can lead to defensiveness and self-fulfilling prophecies. A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true. ...


Individual differences in rejection sensitivity are believed to be the result of previous rejection experiences, particularly childhood experiences with parents and peers. Attachment theory suggests that rejection from parents could lead to rejection sensitivity. One study found that rejection sensitivity in adulthood was related to teasing experiences during childhood, but not the amount of support received from childhood friends.[9] This indicates that friendships are not enough to protect children from rejection experiences. Mother and child Attachment theory is a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory that provides a descriptive and explanatory framework for discussion of interpersonal relationships between human beings. ...


See also

Bullying is the act of intentionally causing harm to others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or other more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation. ... Disconnection is a practice in Scientology, in which a Scientologist severs all ties between themselves and friends, colleagues, or family members who criticize Scientology practices. ... An interpersonal relationship is some relationship or connection between two people. ... Pieces of broken pottery as voting tokens. ... Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. ... Social psychology is the scientific study of how peoples thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others (Allport, 1985). ... Sociometry is the science and art of measuring relationships developed by psychotherapist Jacob L. Moreno in his studies of the relationship between social configurations or structures and psychological well-being. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...

References

  1. ^ Williams, K.D, Forgás, J.P. & von Hippel, W. (Eds). (2005) The Social Outcast: Ostracism, Social Exclusion, Rejection, & Bullying. Psychology Press: New York, NY
  2. ^ McDougall, P., Hymel, S., Vaillancourt, T., & Mercer, L. (2001). The consequences of childhood rejection. In M. R. Leary (Ed.), Interpersonal rejection. (pp. 213-247). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York, NY: Harper.
  4. ^ Cillessen, A., Bukowski, W. M., & Haselager, G. (2000). Stability of sociometric categories. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  5. ^ McDougall, P., Hymel, S., Vaillancourt, T., & Mercer, L. (2001). The consequences of childhood rejection. In M. R. Leary (Ed.), Interpersonal rejection. (pp. 213-247). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  6. ^ Williams, K. D. & Zadro, L. (2001). Ostracism. In M. R. Leary (Ed.), Interpersonal rejection. (pp. 21-53). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ Baumeister, R. F. & Dhavale, D. (2001). Two sides of romantic rejection. In M. R. Leary (Ed.), Interpersonal rejection. (pp. 55-72). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  8. ^ Downey, G. & Feldman, S. I. (1996). Implications of rejection sensitivity for intimate relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 1327-1343.
  9. ^ Butler, J. C., Doherty, M. S., & Potter, R. M. (2007). Social antecedents and consequences of interpersonal rejection sensitivity. Personality and Individual differences, 43, 1376-1385.

  Results from FactBites:
 
peer relationships and peer rejection (3654 words)
Investigated peer rejection and the factors involved such as the rejected child’s social characteristics, his or her perception of their own social standing, their expectations of social success or failure and the role of the peer group in sociometric status.
This study emphasises aggression in rejected children, and it’s role in isolating children from the peer group as it was found that in early primary school the rejected children had aggression in common.
Rejection is still a problem in adolescence, however the focus changes from that of aggressive children; in fact Sandstrom and Coie found in their 1999 investigation into rejected children that aggression became a desirable attribute in late childhood and early adolescence.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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