Honors Program

Honors in Psychology

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Ginette C. Blackhart

Thesis Professor Department



Baumeister and Leary (1995) propose with their Need to Belong Theory that negative affect would occur upon the disruption of an existing or even potential social connection. The present paper presents two studies that sought to resolve past contradictory research by examining how rejection by various sources (romantic partners, family members, close friends, or strangers) impact the rejectee’s emotional responses. The first study, which used a recalled memory of rejection, yielded no significant differences in mood, need to belong, threat to the four fundamental needs, or state self-esteem for the different sources. However, the second study, which used imagined scenarios, found that the source of rejection had a significant effect on the rejectee’s levels of hurt feelings, sadness, and perceived level of rejection, indicating that the effects of rejection are influenced by the relationship people have with their rejecters. This has many implications on how we understand relational dynamics and rejection.

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Withheld

Creative Commons License

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