Vicarious Ostracism: Behavioral Responses of Women Observing an Ostracized Gay Man

Marco Salvati, Daniele Paolini, Mauro Giacomantonio


Research on vicarious ostracism showed that people observing another person
ostracized try to support him or her and punish the perpetrators. The current brief
report investigated the effect of observing an ostracized or included gay man (vs.
heterosexual man), among 87 Italian female university students. They firstly
observed a first interaction game named Cyberball and then took part in a second
Cyberball with the same fictitious players. The results confirmed our expectations,
showing that they restored the social pain of the ostracized player more when he
was gay than heterosexual, through more ball tosses. Limitations and future
directions are discussed.


cyberball; vicarious ostracism; sexual orientation; women.

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