Exploring fundamental needs by rejecting people: does cyberball still work?

Jonathan Gerber, Ladd Wheeler

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    Recent research has noted that motivational theories can be tested under conditions of needs thwarting (e.g. rejection). We used Cyberball to thwart needs associated with inclusion and exclusion. Results suggested that the four needs hypothesised by Williams (2001), may not be distinct, in line with sociometer theory. However, given the poor psychometric properties of the measures used, replication with behavioural measures is necessary. Furthermore, debriefing of participants in a further study raised doubts regarding Cyberball’s effectiveness as a rejection manipulation. A critical review of the Cyberball literature suggests that although proponents claim Cyberball shows an evolutionary adaptive primal reaction to rejection, the evidence is inconclusive, as the behavioural and brain imaging evidence could be due to frustration, not rejection. Users of Cyberball are encouraged to attend to share their experiences with this paradigm.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)28
    Number of pages1
    JournalAustralian Journal of Psychology
    Issue numberSuppl. 1
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    EventAnnual meeting of the Society of Australasian Social Psychologists (SASP) (35th : 2006) - Canberra
    Duration: 20 Apr 200623 Apr 2006


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