Differential Responses of Independent and Interdependent People to Social Exclusion

  •  Ken’ichiro Nakashima    
  •  Taishi Kawamoto    
  •  Chikae Isobe    
  •  Mitsuhiro Ura    


To what extent is a person’s interpersonal network mustered after social exclusion? This was investigated in
relation to self-construal: independent, or interdependent. We conducted two quasi-experimental questionnaire
studies of university students (Study 1; N = 57, Study 2; N = 78). Results indicated that interdependent students
lowered identification with their academic departments after remembering a time when they were socially
excluded (Study 1). Their self-worth was also more highly contingent on relational harmony in the whole of their
interpersonal networks (Study 2). In contrast, independent students did not exhibit these patterns. These results
suggest that social exclusion caused interdependent (not independent) individuals make attempts to secure and
value their entire networks, due to the possibility that such specific identification might actually serve to limit
possible interpersonal networks (boundary effect). It is concluded that independent and interdependent students
evidence dissimilar responses to social exclusion. The implications of this finding are discussed.

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