Not all rejections are alike: Competence and warmth as a fundamental distinction in social rejection

P. Celik, J. Lammers, I. van Beest, M.H.J. Bekker, R. Vonk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social rejection can lead to a variety of emotions. Two studies show that specific emotional reactions to social rejection can be understood by relying on the fundamental distinction between competence and warmth. Rejection that is perceived to be due to incompetence leads to anger, whereas rejection that is perceived to be due to lack of warmth leads to sadness. Study 1 measures perceptions of competence and warmth judgments. Study 2 manipulates those perceptions. In both studies, rejection that was perceived to be the result of incompetence led primarily to anger, while rejection that was perceived to be the result of lack of warmth led primarily to sadness. These results show that the effects of rejection can be better understood if we take into account how rejection is perceived.
Highlights
► Adaptive emotional reactions to social rejection
► Compare effects of rejection due to lack of competence and due to lack of warmth
► Rejection due to lack of competence primarily leads to anger
► Rejection due to lack of warmth primarily leads to sadness
Keywords: Social rejection, Competence warmth, Social perception, Emotion
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)635-642
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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