Advisor

Sinclair, H. Colleen

Committee Member

Giesen, J. Marty

Committee Member

Berman, Mitchell

Date of Degree

1-1-2013

Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Major

Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of Psychology

Abstract

The effect of attributions for rejection on the perceived levels of threat to different basic needs was experimentally tested. In this 3 (Internal, External, and Ambiguous attribution) x 3 (Controllable, Uncontrollable, and Neither attribution) experiment, participants read one of nine relationship termination vignettes manipulating which attribution was provided as the reason for being rejected. Perceived levels of threat to Fiske’s (2002) core social motives (belonging, control, and self-esteem) were measured. Analyses revealed main effects of the internal/external attributions, such that an internal attribution led to increased feelings of anger and desire to retaliate. Both effects were mediated by increases in threat to self-esteem. No effects of the rejection controllability attribution were found. These findings suggest that rejections that include internal attributions, such as that it’s the rejected person’s fault that they are being rejected, threaten a person’s self-esteem, which in turn leads to anger and desires to retaliate.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/20608

Comments

romantic relationships

Available for download on Tuesday, August 15, 2113

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