Ostracism: The Power of Silence

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Guilford Press, Jul 1, 2002 - Psychology - 282 pages
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Ostracism is among the most powerful means of social influence. From schoolroom time-outs or the "silent treatment" from a family member or friend, to governmental acts of banishment or exile, ostracism is practiced in many contexts, by individuals and groups. This lucidly written book provides a comprehensive examination of this pervasive phenomenon, exploring the short- and long-term consequences for targets as well as the functions served for those who exclude or ignore. Within a cogent theoretical framework, an exemplary research program is presented that makes use of such diverse methods as laboratory experiments, surveys, narrative accounts, interviews, Internet-based research, brief role-plays, and week-long simulations. The resulting data shed new light on how ostracism affects the individual's coping responses, self-esteem, and sense of belonging and control. Informative and timely, this book will be received with interest by researchers, practitioners, and students in a wide range of psychological disciplines.
  

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Contents

Ostracism Ubiquitous and Powerful
1
A Review of the Literature
7
Previous Social Psychological Investigations of Ostracism
15
Limitations of Early Social Psychological Research
17
Conclusions
18
Forty Years of Solitude Cases of Ostracism
19
Forty Years of Solitude
20
Targets Perspectives
21
Conclusions
123
Laboratory Experiments The BallTossing Paradigm
125
Experiments 1 and 2 Effects of Ostracism on the Loss and Reclamation of Control
129
Experiments 3 Effects of Ostracism on Belonging and Reinclusion into the Group
135
Conclusion
140
More Laboratory Experiments The Train Ride
142
Study 1 Ostracism Can Cause Targets to Overestimate Consensus
144
Study 2 Causally Unclear Ostracism Is Worse Than Causally Clear Ostracism
147

Sources Perspectives
34
Conclusions
42
A Model of Ostracism
43
The Model
45
Taxonomic Dimensions
47
Antecedents
57
Moderators and Mediators
58
Ostracism Threatens Four Fundamental
59
Temporal Stages
64
Application of the Model to Sources
65
Conclusion
69
Forty Minutes of Silence Narratives of ShortTerm Episodes of the Silent Treatment
70
Some Background into the Silent Treatment
71
Perceptions of Its Behaviors and Associated Feelings
73
Study 2 Perceptions and SelfRatings of the Silent Treatment
78
Summary of Studies 1 and 2
81
Where Is the Silent Treatment in the Taxonomy?
82
Narratives of the Silent Treatment
83
Study 3 Narratives of Younger University Students
86
Study 4 Narratives of Older University Students
91
Combining the Common Results of Studies 3 to 4
93
Examining the Role of SelfEsteem in the Use of and Reactions to the Silent Treatment
94
Why Do Targets Experience More Control When the Cause Is Unclear?
95
Conclusion
96
The Scarlet Letter Study Five Days of Ostracism
99
The Scarlet Letter Study
101
Summary of Findings
120
Study 3 Ostracism Is Worse Than Argument
148
Study 4 Effects of Ostracism Argument and Inclusion on Needs Stress and Anxiety
151
Study 5 Effects of Ostracism and Argument on Stress Mood and Eating
157
Conclusions
159
Cyberostracism Getting Silenced on the Internet
162
Cyberostracism
165
The Online Flying Disc and Cyberball Experiments
166
ChatRoom Paradigms
184
Conclusions
188
Ostracism in and by Organizations
189
Ostracism and the Whistleblower
191
Ostracism and the Temp
205
The Company Ostracizing the Consumer
210
Conclusions
216
Everyday Ostracism over Days Months and Years
218
The Sydney Ostracism Record
219
The SORS Study
222
The SORT Study
226
Summary of Diary Findings
229
Conclusion
238
Reflections and Future Aims
240
Recent Research by Other Investigators
248
Future Research
251
Conclusions
258
References
259
Index
275
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Kipling D. Williams, PhD, is currently Chair of the Psychology Department at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He has taught previously at Drake University, the University of Toledo, and the University of New South Wales. He received his doctorate in social psychology from Ohio State University. The coeditor of several books, Dr. Williams has written numerous articles and book chapters on social influence, group dynamics, and psychology and law.

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