Date Thesis Awarded

5-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Neuroscience

Advisor

Cheryl Dickter

Committee Members

Joshua Burk

Dana Lashley

Abstract

Social exclusion, whereby individuals are made to feel isolated by others, has been frequently demonstrated to be detrimental to human social needs and can negatively impact mental and physical health because human beings are intrinsically social (Goodwin et al., 2010). Past research has shown that human motivational, psychological, and affective responses to ostracism indicate increased levels of social pain, the emotional pain we experience when our social needs are violated (Kawamoto et. al, 2013). The current study aimed to assess the impact of social exclusion on neural activity, feelings of belonging, and self-reported distress, while also determining whether these responses would be moderated by ingroup/outgroup racial status. Results revealed that manipulation of racial ingroup vs. outgroup status was not associated with differences in P3 amplitude during social exclusion, contrary to previous research. However, self-reported levels of distress were greater after exclusion by the ingroup compared to the outgroup and were predicted by feelings of belonging and social anxiety.

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