Effects of rejection intensity and rejection sensitivity on social approach behavior in women

Autoři: Violetta K. Schaan aff001;  André Schulz aff001;  Michael Bernstein aff002;  Hartmut Schächinger aff003;  Claus Vögele aff001
Působiště autorů: Institute for Health and Behaviour, Department of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences, University of Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg aff001;  Department of Psychology and Social Sciences, Penn State Abington, Abington, Pennsylvania, United States of America aff002;  Department of Biological and Clinical Psychology, University of Trier, Trier, Germany aff003
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 15(1)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227799



Perceived rejection plays an important role for mental health and social integration. This study investigated the impact of rejection intensity and rejection sensitivity on social approach behavior.


121 female participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions differing in the degree of induced rejection (inclusion, medium rejection, severe rejection). Thereafter they were asked to interact with an unknown person during a touch-based cooperative task.


Participants high in rejection sensitivity sought significantly less physical contact than participants low in rejection sensitivity. Individuals in the medium rejection condition touched their partners more often than those in the included condition, while no difference between included and severely rejected participants could be observed.


The results suggest that the intensity of rejection matters with regard to coping. While participants in the medium intensity rejection condition aimed to ‘repair’ their social self by seeking increased contact with others, severely rejected participants did not adapt their behavior compared to included participants. Implications for therapy are discussed.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Emotions – Interpersonal relationships – Motivation – Pain sensation – Personality – Psychological stress – Psychometrics


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