Term of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Ty Boyer

Committee Member 1

Nicholas Holtzman

Committee Member 2

Amy Hackney


Ostracism, feeling excluded or ignored, has been associated with increased risk-taking behavior on a number of self-report and lab-based measures (Buelow & Wirth, 2017; Duclos, Wan, & Jiang, 2012; Falk et al., 2014; Svetieva et al. 2016). Anger mediates the relationship between ostracism and risk-taking (Svetieva et al., 2016), and it is possible that emotion-regulation strategies to reduce anger may minimize this relationship. However, research has yet to test if emotion-regulation strategies can reduce affective responses following ostracism. The purpose of the current study is to examine the effects of ostracism via Cyberball and emotion-regulation strategies on risk-taking behavior using the Columbia Card Task (CCT), an objective risk-taking measure. It was predicted that participants in the ostracism condition would uniquely vary on risk-taking based on social condition (included vs. ostracism), emotion-regulation instructions (reappraisal vs. no instructions), and CCT version (Hot vs. Cold). Sixty-five participants were assigned to one of eight conditions in which they were instructed to either reappraise or given no instructions to regulate their emotional responses, were either socially included or ostracized, and then completed the affective (Hot) version of the CCT or the deliberative (Cold) version of the CCT. Although we found that ostracized participants self-reported greater feelings of anger compared to socially included participants, we found no difference between social conditions or emotion-regulation conditions for risk-taking. However, given the limited sample size and several indicators suggesting the Cold CCT was not an effective measure of risk-taking in the current study, these results should be interpreted with caution. Research should continue to explore the relationship between ostracism and anger on affective and deliberative risk-taking.

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Research Data and Supplementary Material