Publication Date



Three experiments examined the effects of group size on reactions to ostracism and inclusion. Participants engaged in an online introduction activity with 2 or 6 other people and received likes from everyone (inclusion) or no one (ostracism). In Studies 1 and 2, group size had a significant effect on need satisfaction only when participants were ostracized, with larger groups threatening needs to a greater extent. These effects were evident during and immediately after the task, but not after a reflection period and delay. In Study 3, being ostracized by a larger group increased sadness and anger only when ostracism was public. Together, these results indicate that people react more negatively to ostracism by larger groups, but do not reap greater benefits in terms of need satisfaction or affect when included by larger groups. Implications for the ostracism literature and social media use are discussed.


School of Psychology

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

ERA Access

Access may be restricted.