Reactions to the social death penalty: New directions in theory and research on ostracism, social exclusion and rejection. Symposium at the 14th General Meeting of the European Association for Experimental Social Psychology

  • Jaap Ouwerkerk (Organiser)
  • K.D. Williams (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic


The objective of this symposium is to present new directions in theory and research on reactions to ostracism, social exclusion and rejection. The first two contributions will put forward integrative models concerning reactions to these various forms of the social death penalty. Williams proposes that such reactions follow a two-stage process: A reflexive reaction that indiscriminately recoils in pain and a reflective reaction that is guided by social situational variables and individual differences. Next, Pickett will argue that deficits in belonging will activate a mechanism designed to attune individuals to social information and social cues in their environment. The third and fourth presentation focus on the role of social exclusion in promoting cooperation at a collective or societal level. Ouwerkerk will present research demonstrating that a threat of ostracism is effective in attenuating the tendency to follow behavior of an uncooperative individual, especially when this bad apple is categorized as an ingroup member. Subsequently, with the help of computer simulations, Gallucci et al. will demonstrate how social exclusion may explain the evolution of cooperation. The fifth and sixth contribution will focus on the darker side of exclusion. Van Dijk et al. will show that people experience pleasure or so-called Schadenfreude following the exclusion of others, and that this is more prominent at the intergroup rather than the interpersonal level. Gaertner and Iuzzini explore whether rejection and perceived groupness synergistically affect mass violence. Finally, van Beest will present research concerning reactions to exclusion by god or divine exclusion.
Period19 Jul 200523 Jul 2005
Event typeConference
LocationWürzberg, GermanyShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational