On-Line Ostracism Article Critique Case Assignment

Question Description

Below is the article to critique

Abrams, D., Weick, M., Thomas, D., Colbe, H., & Franklin, K. M. (2011). On-line ostracism affects children differently from adolescents and adults. British Journal Of Developmental Psychology, 29(1), 110-123. Retrieved from EBSCO multi-search database in TUW library.

The Case Assignment requires that you write a 5-6 critique of the above research article. (A critique is a detailed analysis - not a recap or summary of the article.) This critique is to incorporate the topics we have covered thus far. Topics to consider include clarity and justification of the research question or goal, adequacy of the sample, possible bias, threats, reliability and validity. Give specific examples when discussing the issues and explain your concerns. Also include any strengths you observe.


Unformatted Attachment Preview

110 The British Psychological Society British Journal of Developmental Psychology (2011), 29, 110–123  C 2010 The British Psychological Society On-line ostracism affects children differently from adolescents and adults Dominic Abrams∗ , Mario Weick, Dominique Thomas, Hazel Colbe and Keith M. Franklin Centre for the Study of Group Processes, Department of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK This research examines adults’, and for the first time, children’s and adolescents’ reaction to being ostracized and included, using an on-line game, ‘Cyberball’ with same and opposite sex players. Ostracism strongly threatened four primary needs (esteem, belonging, meaning, and control) and lowered mood among 8- to 9-yearolds, 13- to 14-year-olds, and adults. However, it did so in different ways. Ostracism threatened self-esteem needs more among 8- to 9-year-olds than older participants. Among 13- to 14-year-olds, ostracism threatened belonging more than other needs. Belonging was threatened most when ostracism was participants’ first experience in the game. Moreover, when participants had been included beforehand, ostracism threatened meaning needs most strongly. Gender of other players had no effect. Practical and developmental implications for social inclusion and on-line experiences among children and young people are discussed. There are multiple reasons why people may be excluded from social relationships (Abrams & Christian, 2007; Abrams, Hogg, & Marques, 2005). Psychologically, an especially salient manifestation of exclusion is ostracism – being ignored and excluded from participating in social activity (Williams & Zadro, 2005). This research examines the previously untested questions of whether and how inclusion and ostracism affects children and adolescents differently from adults. Williams (2007) proposes that four fundamental needs are reflexively affected by ostracism: belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaningful existence. When the satisfaction of these needs is reduced by ostracism, the immediate effect should be a more negative mood. These needs are interconnected but have distinct psychological characteristics. In adults, the need to belong (Baumeister & Leary, 1995) is affected strongly by ostracism (Zadro, Williams, & Richardson, 2005). Self-esteem, an important component of positive mental health, is threatened by ostracism if victims infer something about them is wrong or socially devalued. Self-esteem is linked to belonging because it can serve as an index of being accepted and valued by others (Leary, Tambor, Terdal, & Downs, 1995). ∗ Correspondence should be addressed to Professor Dominic Abrams, Centre for the Study of Group Processes, Department of Psychology, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP, UK (e-mail: DOI:10.1348/026151010X494089 Ostracism: children, adolescents, adults 111 Ostracism undermines the sense of meaningful existence by making victims feel invisible to others (Williams, 2007). Feelings of uncertainty are uncomfortable and may prompt a more active search to define and categorize oneself (e.g. Hogg, 2007). People’s sense of control is also weakened when they are given the ‘silent treatment’ (Williams, Shore, & Grahe, 1998), potentially creating feelings of hopelessness or helplessness that may prompt strategies to regain control (Bandura, 2000; Metalsky, Halberstadt, & Abramson, 1987). Williams (2007) theorizes that need threats and mood are ‘hard wired’ reflexive responses to ostracism that, in a subsequent reflective stage, are linked to different coping responses. Esteem and belonging threats are associated with prosocial responses whereas control and meaning threats relate to aggression and antisocial behaviour (Warburton, Williams, & Cairns, 2006), possibly being implicated in school shootings (Leary, Kowalski, Smith, & Phillips, 2003). Primarily using student participants, researchers have explored different modes of ostracism, ranging from being left out of a ball-tossing game, to being ignored on a train (Zadro et al., 2005). Direct ostracism from Internet chat rooms affects the four needs (Williams et al., 2002), as does impersonal on-line ostracism when the ball-tossing game is played as a computer game labelled ‘Cyberball’ (Williams, Cheung, & Choi, 2000; Williams & Jarvis, 2006), even when people feel they are playing a computer rather than other people (Zadro, Williams, & Richardson, 2004), and regardless of whether they are playing with in-group or with despised out-group members (Gonsolkorale & Williams, 2007; Williams et al., 2000). However, ostracism can occur even during preschool years (Crick, Casas, & Ku, 1999). Over and Carpenter (2009) showed indirectly that 5-year-old children are sensitive to ostracism. Children who were primed with videos in which one shape ostracized another subsequently imitated the actions of a model more closely than did children in a control condition. Social cliques during school years create potential for frequent and unavoidable ostracism. From around the age of 7 years children begin to grasp the social dynamics involved in inclusion and exclusion from social groups (Abrams, Rutland, Pelletier, & Ferrell, 2009), so they should also be sensitive to ostracism. Given the serious psychological consequences of being excluded from social networks in childhood and adolescence (Buhs, Ladd, & Herald, 2006; Hymel, Vaillancourt, McDougall, & Renshaw, 2002), it is important to examine whether ostracism has a similar effect on children and adolescents as it does on adults. No previous research has addressed this issue directly. The rise of Internet social networking sites may increase children’s vulnerability to ostracism. Computers are used commonly from the age of 7 years in many schools, so it is important to establish whether children respond to cyberostracism in the same way as adolescents and adults. Previous research on cyberbullying has focused on direct manifestations of abuse and insults (Li, 2006) rather than the more indirect, and perhaps common, form of exclusion through ostracism. Valkenburg and Peter (2007) showed that Internet communication is especially important for preadolescents’ and adolescents’ social relationships. With a sample of 794 participants aged 10–16 years, self-disclosure via Internet peaked at around the age of 15 years, consistent with the idea that social connection and belongingness are especially focal at this stage of development. At present, there is little clear evidence about whether adolescents will respond to cyberostracism in the same way as adults, and whether needs are threatened differently. Insight into these issues has implications 112 Dominic Abrams et al. for theories about the psychology of social exclusion and has practical implications for strategies to deal with social exclusion during the school years. As well as extending the reach of Williams’ theory, a practical ambition for the present research was to devise a version of Cyberball for use with children from middle childhood as well as with adults. We therefore examined effects of cyberostracism among 8- to 9-year-olds, 13- to 14-year-olds, and introductory level undergraduate students aged around 20 years. Establishing the viability of the Cyberball paradigm across this age range offers a valuable tool for social developmental researchers. Traditional techniques for studying peer exclusion often rely on labour-intensive methods such as evaluation of peer networks and peer nomination techniques. As well taking substantial time, these approaches entail significant practical, ethical, confidentiality, and data protection hurdles. Moreover, these techniques are not very amenable to manipulating the source or form of exclusion. The Cyberball paradigm circumvents these problems, is convenient and engaging for the participants, and allows us to examine responses to ostracism without referring to pre-existing relationships. We examine four theoretically driven questions. First, are the four need states threatened equally by ostracism among children, adolescents, and adults? This has not been tested before. Adult research often aggregates the four needs into a single index (e.g. van Beest & Williams, 2006), obscuring the possibility that each need is affected distinctively, and ignoring the original conceptual distinction among the needs (Williams et al., 2000). Cyberostracism is likely to affect need states and mood among all three age groups, but we contend that different needs may be affected to different degrees during pre-adult development. Children may experience stronger esteem need threat from peer ostracism than do adolescents and adults because children’s self-esteem may be less stable and less well rooted in their other social relationships outside the context of the experiment. Children may also be more likely to interpret ostracism with uncertainty, indicating that they have done something wrong or made a mistake. Prior research shows that early adolescents’ affective responses to peer rejection are clearly negative (Reijntjes, Dekovic, Vermande, & Telch, 2007; Reijntjes, Stegge, Terwogt, Kamphuis, & Telch, 2006). It seems likely that adolescents aged 13–14 may find ostracism especially threatens their need to belong because they have a strong focus and dependency on peer acceptance (Harris, 1995; Valkenburg & Peter, 2007). Consistent with this idea, a recent study of cyberostracism effects among a small sample of female adolescents and students revealed that adolescents showed stronger affective reactions (Sebastian, Viding, Williams, & Blakemore, 2010). That study did not specifically compare differences in levels of threat to different needs, but the effect size of ostracism was highest for belonging need threat, in line with the present theorizing. Secondary schools in the UK place adolescents in multiple classes whose membership changes from lesson to lesson, depending on the subject matter. This may result in a less controllable or stable network of social relationships compared with primary schools (8- to 9-year-olds typically have remained with their classmates for all lessons throughout the preceding 4 years). University students often have romantic partners, well-established ex-school peer networks, and opportunities to choose their group affiliations from a wide array. Thus, age differences can be expected in the need threats following ostracism. A second new question is whether need threat depends on whether the person has previously been included. It is extremely surprising that this has not been explored systematically in the social psychological literature on ostracism. We expect that, in the Ostracism: children, adolescents, adults 113 absence of alternative inclusive relationships in a particular situation, ostracism during the first encounter with other people may most strongly threaten belonging needs. However, if inclusion has occurred first, ostracism may raise levels of uncertainty about what is happening, threatening meaning. We test these ideas by comparing responses when ostracism either precedes or follows inclusion – a distinctive feature of the present research. It is also conceivable that children, adolescents, and adults might respond differently to the sequence of ostracism versus inclusion. Although we do not have a strong developmental hypothesis regarding this issue, the present research will reveal whether there is an empirical basis for this possibility. Third, we investigate how need threats relate to mood (specifically enjoyment). Although ostracism is an aversive experience, adult, and adolescent research shows no consistent connection between need threat and mood (Sebastian et al., 2010; Williams, 2007). This could be attributable to the nature and timing of measurement or to participants’ coping strategies. Adults may be able to enjoy themselves even when cyberostracized because they may treat it as ‘just a game’, and recognize that needs can be satisfied beyond the game. Thus, there could be a closer relationship between need threats and mood among younger than older participants. A fourth question is whether ostracism from in-group and out-group members has similarly negative impacts on children and adolescents. Previous research on adults suggests that ostracism is equally painful regardless of whether is perpetrated by ingroup our out-group members. We varied whether the game was played with females or with males. Younger children are known to show greater gender in-group preference than older children (Powlishta, Serbin, Doyle, & White, 1994; Verkuyten & Thijs, 2001). Thus, we might expect larger effects for same-gender ostracism among 8- to 9-year-olds than among adolescents and adults. Method Participants Sixty-eight males and ninety-eight females participated, of whom 41 were 8- to 9-yearolds, 79 were 13- to 14-year-olds, and 46 were introductory psychology students (mean age = 20 years). Gender was balanced within the younger age groups. There were more females (34) than males (12) among the students. Participants completed the Cyberball game in a university or school computer room. Participants were ethnically homogeneous, White middle class from the south-east of England. For the 8- to 9-yearolds, the procedure was introduced verbally as well as on-screen so that the (female) experimenters could ensure children understood the instructions.1 Design and materials The design was 4 (needs) × 3 (trial: first inclusion, second inclusion, ostracism) × 3 (age group) × 2 (sequence of ostracism: first trial, second trial). Age group and sequence were between-participants factors with random assignment to condition. Needs and trial were within-participants factors. Additionally, gender of participant was treated as a factor and gender of excluder was varied with random assignment. Williams et al.’s (2000) Cyberball game was redesigned for children as well as adults. Specifically, the original game is displayed in a small area of the computer screen which 1 Two children, four adolescents, and thirteen students were excluded from the study because of non-completion due to time constraints (lessons starting). Five students were excluded because they were more than 3SD above the age range. 114 Dominic Abrams et al. might have been difficult for some children to view. The new version is set in a larger format that fills the screen. The original presents amorphous figures to represent the players whereas in the new version the other players are depicted by their names to reduce children’s possible inference that the other players are not real people (a question that arose during pilot work). The presentation of names also makes it easier to incorporate gender information about the other players unobtrusively and continuously while the game is played. Participants were asked to sit silently at a computer, viewing a demonstration screen showing three players passing the ball to each other. Two players were positioned centre left and right hand, the third was positioned centre bottom of the screen. A yellow ball was ostensibly thrown between the players in a looping movement to mimic throwing. After a brief demonstration, participants were asked to enter their age in a box on screen and to check a box showing their gender. They were informed that they would be playing the game with two people who were using computers elsewhere. The left- and right-hand player’s positions were populated with names (both male or both female), while the centre player was labelled ‘YOU’. Participants were shown how to left-mouse-click the player to whom they intended to throw the ball. Having checked that they could operate this effectively, the game began. Three rounds of the game (trials) were presented, in the sequence ostracism– inclusion–inclusion, or inclusion–ostracism–inclusion, ensuring that the experiment concluded with an inclusion experience. In line with the methods used by Williams and colleagues, trials involved 12 tosses of the ball among the three players. In inclusion trials, participants (and the other players) each received the ball four times evenly spread across the trial. In the ostracism trial, participants only received the ball one-sixth of the time (twice from each player) at the start of the trial, following which the other players only passed the ball to each other. At the end of each trial separate screens presented items for the manipulation check, a question about each of the four needs, and about their enjoyment. Response scales were depicted using icons rather than a numeric scale, because previous research established that iconic scales were understood easily by 8- to 9-year olds (e.g. Abrams et al., 2009). The manipulation check simply asked ‘how much did they throw you the ball’, where the icons ranged to denote a lot (1) to not at all (scored as 5). Following pilot work to ensure children could comprehend the measures, the remaining items were adapted from past research (van Beest & Williams, 2006; Zadro, Boland, & Richardson, 2006; Zadro et al., 2004). Participants were asked how they felt during the game. As in Williams et al. (2000), each need was assessed using a single item, the order of which was randomized in each trial. Self-esteem was measured by the question ‘I felt good about myself’, belongingness was measured by the question ‘I felt like the odd one out’, control was measured by the question ‘I felt in charge during the game’ and meaningful existence was measured by the question ‘I felt invisible’. Next, mood was measured with the item, ‘I enjoyed playing the game’. Responses were made by selecting an icon that ranged from 1 (very much) to 5 (very little).2 2 Enjoyment is not a pure measure of mood. However, comparable to Williams et al., in another data set involving children aged 8 (N = 81), we measured both sadness and enjoyment. Within inclusion and ostracism trials these were quite highly correlated (rs = .64 and .57, respectively) giving us good grounds for assuming the enjoyment measure partially taps mood more generally. Ostracism: children, adolescents, adults 115 Results Overall effects of ostracism versus inclusion Table 1 shows that the manipulation of ostracism was effective. Participants experienced receiving the ball significantly less in the ostracism than the inclusion trials. All four needs states were higher, and mood was worse, following ostracism than inclusion. As hypothesized, these differences were significant within all three age groups. Overall, control need threat was significantly higher than all others (ps < .001), esteem need threat was higher than threats to belonging and meaning (ps < .01) and belonging and meaning need threat did not differ significantly. Because there were no differences between need threats on the two inclusion trials we averaged these for subsequent analyses. However, as a precaution, we also conducted analyses comparing the ostracism trials only with the inclusion trial that followed ostracism. These yielded precisely the same pattern of significant findings and are available on request from the first author. Need threats We conducted a 4 (needs) × 2 (type of trial: inclusion vs. ostracism) within-participants, by 3 (age) by 2 (sequence: ostracism first, inclusion first) between-participants ANOVA. There were significant main effects of age, F(2, 160) = 5.15, p < .01, ␩2 = .06, and sequence, F(1, 160) = 5.20, p < .05, ␩2 = .03 but not their interaction. There were significant main effects of trial, F(1, 480) = 305.03, p < .001, ␩2 = .66, need, F(3,480) = 37.87, p < .001, ␩2 = .191, and their interaction, F(3,480) = 14.14, p < .001, ␩2 = .08. The trial by need interaction indicates that size of the effects of ...
Purchase answer to see full attachment

Final Answer




On-Line Ostracism
Institution Affiliation



The article titled "Effects of On-Line Ostracism on Children Differently from
Adolescents and Adults" talks about on-line ostracism and how its effects on children are
different from adolescents and adults. This is the statement of the problem that the article
addresses, and it has given an excellent analysis of how the exclusion; ostracism of children from
social groups in their adolescents and adulthood age can be demoralizing. This has been done
through an online computer game known as ‘cyber ball.' It is true that online ostracism effects on
children psychologically have been a talk globally due to its adversarial effects. Several theories
have been proven and put in place in the psychological field to explain, how excluding and
ignoring children from social play can be adverse. It has been explained by some of the authors
in the research where Abrams et al. (2011) and Hogg (2007) ascertain that there are four
essential primary wants that are intensely susceptible to children through online ostracism. These
are belonging, meaning, self-esteem and control which will be discussed in terms of their threats
and strengths on children. In Vygotsky's theory, psychologist Lev Vygotsky stressed that types
of play, including games and imaginary play, can help nurture the learning thoughts of children.
The article has well reviewed the primary psychological needs that often affects children in their
pre-adolescent and adolescents' stage. These primary needs are belonging needs, meaningful
existence needs, and self-esteem needs and lastly control needs (Abrams, Weick, Thomas, Colbe,
& Franklin, 2011). The article, however, hasn’t expounded on these needs which I think should
be done to create a good awareness to readers.


Literature Review Discussion

Psychologically it is a human need that brings value in life emotionally. For example, in
this digital era, bringing up a kid in a school that requires children to access the internet socially
whereas as a parent you restrict your own kid not to access the internet due to your tradition
customs may be, which will result to peer rejection and peer ostracism. This will result in

agneta (49452)

Thanks for the help.

Outstanding. Studypool always delivers quality work.

Tutor was very helpful and took the time to explain concepts to me. Very responsive, managed to get replies within the hour.


Brown University

1271 Tutors

California Institute of Technology

2131 Tutors

Carnegie Mellon University

982 Tutors

Columbia University

1256 Tutors

Dartmouth University

2113 Tutors

Emory University

2279 Tutors

Harvard University

599 Tutors

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2319 Tutors

New York University

1645 Tutors

Notre Dam University

1911 Tutors

Oklahoma University

2122 Tutors

Pennsylvania State University

932 Tutors

Princeton University

1211 Tutors

Stanford University

983 Tutors

University of California

1282 Tutors

Oxford University

123 Tutors

Yale University

2325 Tutors