Social exclusion negatively impacts health behaviors such as eating, and new research suggests that individual difference variables can influence the strength of its effects. Two studies examined whether prior experience with bullying is an individual difference variable that could influence ostracism’s impact on food consumption. I hypothesized that people with a history of bullying would be more likely to eat unhealthy foods than healthy foods after experiencing social exclusion, and that this group would likely consume more food after experiencing social exclusion. Neither study found that prior experience with bullying impacted the strength of ostracism’s effect on food consumption, although Study 2 demonstrated that Rejection Sensitivity plays an important moderating role in participants’ response to social exclusion.
Ramos, Karen M., "Bullying and Sensitivity to Rejection: The Role of Individual Difference Variables in Social Exclusion’s Impact on Eating Behaviors" (2013). Psychology Honors Projects. 28.
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