OSR Journal of Student Research

Article Title

The Consequences of Individual- and Group- Based Social Exclusion on Women's Self-Regulation of Unhealthy Eating


Caitlin Shaw


Social exclusion is a psychologically stressful experience that can impair self-regulatory behaviors, such as the ability to regulate consumption of high-caloric food. Some researchers assume that exclusion is particularly harmful to self-regulation when it is due to an individual’s personal, or unique, qualities (Baumeister et al. 2005). In contrast, social identity researchers presume that exclusion is more harmful when it is based on a person's group membership (e.g., gender). We hypothesize that both forms of exclusion are harmful, but the degree of harm to self-regulation depends on the fairness of the exclusion. That is, individual-based exclusion will be most detrimental when it is fair (e.g., resulting from poor performance) and group-based exclusion will be most detrimental when it is unfair (e.g., occurring even when performance is strong). To test these hypotheses, we created an online program, College Survivor, to examine exclusion type and fairness on self-regulatory behavior. We have female participants play two Survivor tasks with ostensibly four other players (who are computer-simulated, not real players). After Round 2 of the game, participants experience either individual- or group-based exclusion that is either fair (they have the lowest overall score) or unfair (they did not have the lowest score). Participants are then presented with three bowls of chocolate candies that are supposedly manufactured in three separate countries. They are asked to taste and rate these candies. We expect that participants in both the individual-fair and group-unfair conditions will consume more candy compared to individuals in the two other groups.

This document is currently not available here.