Social exclusion is felt as a threat to the human “need to belong” and activates the brain areas related to physical pain. Social exclusion has been proven to drive aggressive behaviours, to create emotional numbness and it also seems to facilitate implicit processing of positive emotions and enhance re-inclusion finalised behaviours (so-called “tuning to positivity”). These effects appear to be mediated by the individual’s empathy. Nevertheless, the effects of social exclusion on emotions and social information processing are unclear. This study aims to test whether exclusion can improve social processing (i.e. emotion recognition and gaze direction discrimination), and whether this can be modulated by empathy. Young adult participants (M = 20; F = 20) were asked to identify either the emotional expression (happy, sad, angry, fearful) or gaze direction (direct vs. averted gaze) of faces after social exclusion (or inclusion) through the Cyberball paradigm. Empathy had previously been estimated through the Empathy Quotient questionnaire. Experimental results on accuracy show that social exclusion makes gaze direction discrimination worse, but not emotion identification. Interestingly, higher empathy was associated with a stronger enhancement of social processing in excluded rather than included participants. Besides, these effects are also modulated by participants’ gender: male participants’ accuracy is lower when they are socially excluded, while female participants tend to show higher accuracy when excluded. This study brings new evidence indicating that social exclusion has an effect only on one of the two crucial social dimensions (gaze direction discrimination, but not emotion identification). Interestingly, participants’ empathy and gender also modulate these effects in different ways. The modulatory effects of participants’ empathy suggest that more empathic people are more sensitive to rejection and pay much more attention to social information. The moderation of participants’ gender shows that male and female participants show different reactions to social exclusion, in terms of social information processing: male participants seem to show a stronger effect of “emotional numbness”, resulting in a more difficult processing of social information; in contrast, female excluded participants express an enhanced tendency to process potentially re-inclusive stimuli, as faces

Bossi, F., Gallucci, M., Ricciardelli, P. (2016). Exclude the Emo: how social exclusion modulates social information processing. NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL TRENDS, 20, 66-66.

Exclude the Emo: how social exclusion modulates social information processing

BOSSI, FRANCESCO;GALLUCCI, MARCELLO;RICCIARDELLI, PAOLA
2016

Abstract

Social exclusion is felt as a threat to the human “need to belong” and activates the brain areas related to physical pain. Social exclusion has been proven to drive aggressive behaviours, to create emotional numbness and it also seems to facilitate implicit processing of positive emotions and enhance re-inclusion finalised behaviours (so-called “tuning to positivity”). These effects appear to be mediated by the individual’s empathy. Nevertheless, the effects of social exclusion on emotions and social information processing are unclear. This study aims to test whether exclusion can improve social processing (i.e. emotion recognition and gaze direction discrimination), and whether this can be modulated by empathy. Young adult participants (M = 20; F = 20) were asked to identify either the emotional expression (happy, sad, angry, fearful) or gaze direction (direct vs. averted gaze) of faces after social exclusion (or inclusion) through the Cyberball paradigm. Empathy had previously been estimated through the Empathy Quotient questionnaire. Experimental results on accuracy show that social exclusion makes gaze direction discrimination worse, but not emotion identification. Interestingly, higher empathy was associated with a stronger enhancement of social processing in excluded rather than included participants. Besides, these effects are also modulated by participants’ gender: male participants’ accuracy is lower when they are socially excluded, while female participants tend to show higher accuracy when excluded. This study brings new evidence indicating that social exclusion has an effect only on one of the two crucial social dimensions (gaze direction discrimination, but not emotion identification). Interestingly, participants’ empathy and gender also modulate these effects in different ways. The modulatory effects of participants’ empathy suggest that more empathic people are more sensitive to rejection and pay much more attention to social information. The moderation of participants’ gender shows that male and female participants show different reactions to social exclusion, in terms of social information processing: male participants seem to show a stronger effect of “emotional numbness”, resulting in a more difficult processing of social information; in contrast, female excluded participants express an enhanced tendency to process potentially re-inclusive stimuli, as faces
Abstract in rivista
gaze perception, facial emotion recognition, social exclusion
English
66
66
1
Bossi, F., Gallucci, M., Ricciardelli, P. (2016). Exclude the Emo: how social exclusion modulates social information processing. NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL TRENDS, 20, 66-66.
Bossi, F; Gallucci, M; Ricciardelli, P
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/134588
Citazioni
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
Social impact