Journal article

Social exclusion causes self-defeating behavior

JM Twenge, KR Catanese, RF Baumeister

JOURNAL OF PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY | AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC | Published : 2002

Abstract

Four experiments tested the idea that social exclusion leads to (unintentionally) self-defeating behavior. Exclusion was manipulated by telling some people that they were likely to end up alone later in life. This randomly assigned feedback caused people to take irrational, self-defeating risks (Experiments 1 and 2), choose unhealthy, rather than healthy, behaviors (Experiment 3), and procrastinate longer with pleasurable activities rather than practicing for an upcoming test (Experiment 4). A control group, who heard that their future would be marred by frequent accidents, did not show these self-defeating patterns. Thus, the effect goes beyond just hearing bad news. Emotional distress did ..

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