A recently published study suggests that social ostracism can lead to a high number of negative emotions, including sadness, anger, and revenge, negatively impacting human behavior.
The study notes that human motivation is tied to four essential psychological needs:
- The desire to belong in a group
- The feeling of control over one’s immediate surroundings
- The intrinsic aspiration to live a meaningful experience
Social ostracism can negatively influence all of those psychological needs. People are known to go through great lengths to satisfy these needs, and some methods could be a bit unsavory. When it comes to the third and four needs, aggression may appear to be particularly attractive.
Social Ostracism Negatively Impacts Human Behavior
The study contains observations on people that aren’t usually affiliated with extremist groups. The lack of social interaction will make individuals more inclined to adhere to or support groups that wouldn’t present interest in a different context. Metaphorically speaking, a man that starves would be tempted to eat even that kind of food he never enjoyed eating.
A different study explores the reaction of people confronted with the fact that their companions seem to be more interested in their smartphones, failing to pay enough attention to their partners and unable to sustain a meaningful conversation. A large number of persons which participated in the study declared that the apparent lack of interest displayed by these persons threatened their basic needs, with women being more inclined to feel endangered by social ostracism while men tend to either ignore it or assert the problem on the spot.
Further research infers that the feeling of being ignored or dismissed, which is usually caused by the previously-mentioned issue, has the potential to deteriorate a person’s mental wellbeing in the long run. A series of experiments suggests that the consequences of social ostracism seem to be worse than those triggered by bad news, for example. On a positive note, being acknowledged by others would reduce the fear of rejection.