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Jumping on the 'badwagon'? How group membership influences responses to the social exclusion of others

Lelieveld, G-J; Harris, LT; Van Dillen, LF; (2020) Jumping on the 'badwagon'? How group membership influences responses to the social exclusion of others. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 10.1093/scan/nsaa070. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

In four studies, we addressed whether group membership influences behavioral and neural responses to the social exclusion of others. Participants played a modified three-player Cyberball game (Studies 1-3) or a team-selection task (Study 4) in the absence or presence of a minimal group setting. In the absence of a minimal group, when one player excluded another player, participants actively included the excluded target. When the excluder was from the in-group and the excluded player from the out-group, participants were less likely to intervene (Studies 1-3), and also more often went along with the exclusion (Study 4). fMRI results (Study 3) showed that greater exclusion in the minimal group setting concurred with increased activation in the dlPFC, a region associated with overriding cognitive conflict. Self-reports from Study 4 supported these results by showing that participants' responses to the target's exclusion were motivated by group membership as well as participants' general aversion to exclude others. Together, the findings suggest that when people witness social exclusion, group membership triggers a motivational conflict between favoring the in-group and including the out-group target. This underscores the importance of group composition for understanding the dynamics of social exclusion.

Type: Article
Title: Jumping on the 'badwagon'? How group membership influences responses to the social exclusion of others
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsaa070
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsaa070
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Cyberball, Group membership, Social exclusion, dlPFC, fMRI
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099057
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