Ghosting is the practice of ending a relationship without explaining to the partner and avoiding any communication attempts. Orbiting is identical to ghosting, but the disengager still visibly follows the former partner on social media. Despite the increasing attention that ghosting and orbiting have gained in the popular press, they remain largely unexplored phenomena in scientific inquiry. In this work, we explored the psychological and behavioral reactions to ghosting and orbiting from the victim’s perspective, comparing them to the experience of being rejected through direct communication. Participants were randomly assigned to recall one of three conditions (ghosting, orbiting, and rejection), and the reports of 208 young adults were analyzed through qualitative thematic content analysis. The results described different stages of reactions that follow event detection and that are respectively characterized by 1) surprise and confusion, 2) anger, sadness, and guilt, 3) attempts of relational repair, 4) acceptance. The specificities of being a victim of ghosting and orbiting are presented, comparing them with social rejection. The results are discussed in the light of the existing literature on social exclusion, suggesting that ghosting and orbiting can be considered forms of ostracism. Connections between the proposed stage model and traditional relationship dissolution theories are highlighted, and relevant implications for future research and interventions are presented.

Pancani, L., Mazzoni, D., Aureli, N., & Riva, P. (2021). Ghosting and orbiting: An analysis of victims’ experiences. JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, 38(7), 1987-2007 [10.1177/02654075211000417].

Ghosting and orbiting: An analysis of victims’ experiences

Pancani, L
Primo
;
Mazzoni, D
Secondo
;
Aureli, N;Riva, P
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Ghosting is the practice of ending a relationship without explaining to the partner and avoiding any communication attempts. Orbiting is identical to ghosting, but the disengager still visibly follows the former partner on social media. Despite the increasing attention that ghosting and orbiting have gained in the popular press, they remain largely unexplored phenomena in scientific inquiry. In this work, we explored the psychological and behavioral reactions to ghosting and orbiting from the victim’s perspective, comparing them to the experience of being rejected through direct communication. Participants were randomly assigned to recall one of three conditions (ghosting, orbiting, and rejection), and the reports of 208 young adults were analyzed through qualitative thematic content analysis. The results described different stages of reactions that follow event detection and that are respectively characterized by 1) surprise and confusion, 2) anger, sadness, and guilt, 3) attempts of relational repair, 4) acceptance. The specificities of being a victim of ghosting and orbiting are presented, comparing them with social rejection. The results are discussed in the light of the existing literature on social exclusion, suggesting that ghosting and orbiting can be considered forms of ostracism. Connections between the proposed stage model and traditional relationship dissolution theories are highlighted, and relevant implications for future research and interventions are presented.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Scientifica
Digital technology; ghosting; orbiting; ostracism; qualitative methods; relationship dissolution; social exclusion;
English
Pancani, L., Mazzoni, D., Aureli, N., & Riva, P. (2021). Ghosting and orbiting: An analysis of victims’ experiences. JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, 38(7), 1987-2007 [10.1177/02654075211000417].
Pancani, L; Mazzoni, D; Aureli, N; Riva, P
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10281/308699
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