Not all rejections are alike; competence and warmth as a fundamental distinction in social rejection

Pinar Çelik*, Joris Lammers, Ilja van Beest, Marrie H.J. Bekker, Roos Vonk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Social rejection can lead to a variety of emotions. Two studies show that specific emotional reactions to social rejection can be understood by relying on the fundamental distinction between competence and warmth. Rejection that is perceived to be due to incompetence leads to anger, whereas rejection that is perceived to be due to lack of warmth leads to sadness. Study 1 measures perceptions of competence and warmth judgments. Study 2 manipulates those perceptions. In both studies, rejection that was perceived to be the result of incompetence led primarily to anger, while rejection that was perceived to be the result of lack of warmth led primarily to sadness. These results show that the effects of rejection can be better understood if we take into account how rejection is perceived.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-642
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Competence warmth
  • Emotion
  • Social perception
  • Social rejection

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