The anticipated social cost of disclosing a rejection experience

Erdem O. Meral*, Yvette Osch, Dongning Ren, Eric Dijk, Ilja van Beest

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
96 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Social rejection is a negative experience. Disclosing this experience to others may be beneficial for the target but may also entail costs if the audience reacts negatively. Across five pre-registered studies (N = 1120), we investigated how people may feel an urge to disclose a certain hypothetical rejection experience, but, depending on anticipated costs and benefits, may be reluctant to do so. The results reveal that when considering disclosing this rejection experience (a) targets anticipate social costs rather than benefits, and audiences indeed devalue such targets who disclose that they were rejected; (b) targets feel the urge to talk about this experience yet feel reluctant to do so; and (c) targets see disclosing to a close other as less risky, hence mitigating the conflicting urge and reluctance to talk. These findings suggest that people view disclosing a rejection experience as risky and perhaps not as the best coping strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181-1197
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume51
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • EXCLUSION
  • MODEL
  • NEED
  • OSTRACISM
  • OTHERS
  • PEOPLE
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL FLEXIBILITY
  • SELF-DISCLOSURE
  • benefit
  • cost
  • disclosure
  • rejection
  • reluctance
  • social-sharing
  • urge

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The anticipated social cost of disclosing a rejection experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this