Ostracism Threatens Personal Security

A Temporal Need Threat Framework

Authored by: Eric D. Wesselmann , Andrew H. Hales , Dongning Ren , Kipling D. Williams

Handbook of Personal Security

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9781848726758
eBook ISBN: 9781315713595
Adobe ISBN: 9781317498476


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Ostracism—being excluded and ignored—is a phenomenon that occurs in diverse cultures and contexts (Williams & Nida, 2011) among both humans and non-human social animals (e.g., Goodall, 1986). Ostracism can be institutionalized in practices such as incarceration, excommunication, and political exile, or even in the disciplinary practice of giving children time-outs (Williams, 2001, 2009). However, many instances of ostracism are informal and include any instance in which individuals perceive themselves to be ignored and excluded. These instances can be as seemingly trivial as being denied eye contact by a stranger (Nezlek, Wesselmann, Wheeler, & Williams, 2012; Wesselmann, Cardoso, Slater, & Williams, 2012).

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