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When socially excluded people prefer moralizing to anti- and prosocial behavior: Support for a goal-directed account.

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

According to the temporal need-threat model, different responses toward social exclusion stem from the fact that different needs are threatened. Because evidence for this account is mixed, we tested a goal-directed account in which the chosen behavior depends not only on the threatened need but also on the behavior that has the highest expectancy of repairing that need. In two experiments, participants were excluded using the cyberball paradigm. They were then either assigned to a condition in which they could choose to send aggressive or prosocial messages to the other players or to a condition in which they could send aggressive, prosocial, or moralizing messages. We hypothesized that the expectancy to repair threatened needs would be higher for moralizing behavior than for aggressive and prosocial behavior, which would result in moralizing behavior in the second condition. Both experiments provided partial support for our hypothesis, suggesting that the reactions to social exclusion might be goal directed.
Journal: Motivation and Emotion
ISSN: 0146-7239
Issue: 4
Volume: 44
Pages: 508 - 524
Publication year:2020