Emotional support reduced the feeling of social exclusion: An event-related potential (ERP) investigation

[Speaker] Yamagata, Toyoki:1
[Co-author] Shikibu, Mana:1, Katayama, Jun'ichi:2, Murata, Asuka:3
1:Graduate School of Letters, Hokkaido University (Japan), 2:Department of Psychological Science, Center for Applied Psychological Science, Kwansei Gakuin University (Japan), 3:Center for Experimental Research in Social Sciences, Hokkaido University (Japan)

The aim of this study was to examine effects of emotional support on the categorization process of social exclusion cue by using P3b, one of the event-related potential components. Twenty-three participants performed a ball-tossing game called Cyberball with two computer-generated opponents under four conditions (observation as a control, fair play, exclusion, and support). In the fair play condition, participants joined in the game equally with the other players. In contrast, the other opponents excluded the participant in the exclusion and the support conditions. As a manipulation of emotional support, supportive comments were presented after each toss. P3b were analyzed only for trials in which participants did not receive the ball in all conditions. As a result, P3b amplitude for the support condition was significantly smaller than that for the exclusion condition. This result suggests that emotional support makes people regard social exclusion cue as less exclusive.
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