Honors Program

Honors in Psychology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

G. C. Blackhart

Thesis Professor Department



Previous research (Tesser, Millar, & Moore, 1988) has shown that being close to one’s rejecter intensifies negative outcomes associated with rejection. Other research, however, has shown that people’s fundamental needs are threatened equally when they are ostracized by in-group members or despised groups (i.e., KKK members; Gonsalkorale & Williams, 2007), suggesting that perhaps acceptance by close others may not differ from acceptance by strangers. In this study, we examined the effects of imagined rejection and acceptance across varying degrees of relationship intensity (close other, acquaintance, or stranger). Participants who imagined being rejected by a close other reported higher depressed mood than those who imagined being rejected by an acquaintance or by a stranger and more hurt feelings than those who imagined being rejected by a stranger. Interestingly, those who imagined being accepted by a close other reported higher anxiety than those imagining being accepted by an acquaintance or stranger.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons