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.
|Journal||European Journal of Social Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|
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Meral, E. O. (Contributor), Stráznický van Osch, Y. (Contributor), Ren, D. (Contributor), Van Dijk, E. (Contributor) & van Beest, I. (Contributor), DataverseNL, 2022