Report on the EASP Meeting: Ostracism, Social Exclusion, and Rejection
18.07.2017, by Sibylle Classen in meeting report
Organizers: Selma C. Rudert (University of Basel, CH), Rainer Greifeneder (University of Basel, CH), Kipling D. Williams (Purdue University, IND, USA)
June 29-July 2, 2017, Vitznau, Switzerland
Sponsors: European Association of Social Psychology (EASP), Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)
From June 29th to July 2nd, the Small Group Meeting on Ostracism, Social Exclusion, and Rejection took place in Vitznau, Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Lucerne. The workshop covered the topics as summarized below:
Ostracism, social exclusion, and rejection represent ubiquitous phenomena in society, that usually result in very negative and hurtful consequences. Research on ostracism, for instance, has shown that individuals are highly sensitive to being excluded or ignored by others, so that even minimal exclusion experiences which occur on a daily basis threaten fundamental human needs and cause feelings of pain. The consequences can be far-reaching and extend into various fields of social psychology: Typically, ostracized individuals seek to restore their threatened needs which is why exclusion affects a variety of physiological, affective, cognitive, and behavioral variables. Other lines of research have focused on potential moderators of experiencing social exclusion as well as the underlying causes for why individuals are being excluded.
The meeting’s goal was to focus on future developments and new pathways to study ostracism, social exclusion and rejection in intergroup and interpersonal settings. We further aimed to facilitate as much productive discussion as possible so that participants have the chance to network, and form new international research collaborations. There were twelve talks as well as one poster session on topics such as “Norms, Morals und the Justification of social exclusion”, “Judging and Coping with Social Exclusion”, “Rejection”, “Social Exclusion in Applied Contexts,” “Psychophysiology of Social Exclusion”, as well as “Stereotypes and Group Dynamics following Social Exclusion”. Plenty of time was devoted to an extensive discussion of the topics, with an emphasis to generate new research ideas. The meeting was complemented by many informal discussions during the joint meals as well as on a short hiking tour on Mount Rigi. The results of the conference will be summarized in a joint volume published by Psychological Press, to which the meeting’s participants will contribute. Participants’ feedback was extremely positive, as can be exemplified by the following quotes from participants who emailed us after the meeting:
“For me, it was one of the best meetings up to now and I’ve learnt a lot.”
“The setting was magnificent, the people were friendly and engaging, and the talks were fascinating and thought provoking.”
“I really enjoyed it and I was thankful for such a great opportunity to present my work at long last!”
In total, 27 researchers participated in the meeting, among those 12 PhD students and 15 women. Participants came from 10 different countries: USA (6), Netherlands (5), Germany (4), Switzerland (3), UK (3), Italy (2), Australia (1), Austria (1), Belgium (1), and Canada (1).