Date of Award

12-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Komarraju, Meera

Abstract

Being excluded from one's group has been found to be a painful and distracting experience. The current study predicted that emotional pain mediated the path between information exclusion and cognitive performance. Attributions for information exclusion were also predicted to have differing effects on pain and performance. In this study, 206 undergraduate participants presented with one of five randomly assigned scenarios differing on attribution dimensions (intent, foreseeability, and control) were asked to imagine themselves in the situation. Participants then spent five minutes performing a journal exercise reflecting on the experience. An immediate measure of pain was taken to serve as a manipulation check, followed by a 15-item word association task. The word association task consisted of 5 easy and 10 difficult items. Participants then completed a 20-item measure of pain to be included in the mediation analysis. Finally, participants completed a 28-item measure of social anxiety. The manipulation check showed that pain levels differed significantly between the control and manipulation conditions. The initial pain experienced also differed along the intent and foreseeability dimensions. However, the group differences for pain had diminished before participants reached the final pain measure. Group scores for the word association task did not differ significantly. Thus, there was not support for the mediation model.

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