Fascinating work on the consequences of social exclusion. #digitalvalues
Ward Plunet originally shared this post:
Ego Depletion – Will Power – and Friendships
Social rejection and depletion of will power.
If you will self-regulate and not be selfish then you get to stay and enjoy the rewards of having a circle of friends and society as a whole, but if you break that bargain society will break its promise and reject you. Your friend groups will stop inviting you to parties, unfollow you on Twitter. If you are too selfish in your larger social group, it might reject you by sending you to jail or worse.
The researchers in the “no one chose you” study proposed that since self-regulation is required to be prosocial, you expect some sort of reward for regulating your behavior. People in the unwanted group felt the sting of ostracism, and that reframed their self-regulation as being wasteful. It was as if they thought, “Why play by the rules if no one cares?” It poked a hole in their willpower fuel tanks, and when they sat in front of the cookies they couldn’t control their impulses as well as the others. Other studies show when you feel ostracized and unwanted, you can’t solve puzzles as well, you become less likely to cooperate, less motivated to work, more likely to drink and smoke and do other self-destructive things. Rejection obliterates self control, and thus it seems it’s one of the many avenues toward a state of ego depletion.
The Misconception: Willpower is just a metaphor. The Truth: Willpower is a finite resource. In 2005, a team of psychologists made a group of college students feel like scum. The researchers invited……