The Outsider Effect Reply

By Lauren F. Friedman, Psychology Today

Few experiences are more painful than being excluded and ignored. Over a long period of time, recent research by Kipling Williams and Steve Nida reveals, being ostracized “is a form of social death.” It eventually depletes coping resources; people learn to self-ostracize and come to “accept the essential message of their ostracism –that they are completely insignificant.” Future research will look at why outcast individuals may be drawn into fringe groups, lured by the chance to finally belong.

The Shared Brain Reply

Lauren F. Friedman, Psychology Today

Self-regulation once seemed to be a solo project. But “a new line of research is showing how the brain “outsources” regulatory tasks to others,” explains Mario Mikulincer, editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. To conserve brain resources for tasks like learning, people may lean on close partners, offloading some of the burden of controlling impulses and emotions. An individual may not be able to calm himself, but if a partner can calm him, the end result is similar.