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Economic Culture and Children’s Responses to Ostracism Situations Seminar

12:30 - 13:30
5 May 2016
University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Building 44 (Shackleton), Room 3031/3033

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380 595150 or email .

Event details

Across a series of studies, we investigate cultural differences in children’s responses to ostracism situations. Working with the children of farmers and herders, we focus on how painful children estimate ostracism to be. We show that 4- to 8-year-old children from a socially interdependent farming community estimated ostracism to be less painful than did children from an independent herding community. This cultural difference was specific to social pain and did not apply to physical pain. Investigating potential mediators of this group difference, we observe that individual differences in parents’ level of social interdependence and children’s tendency to recommend seeking social support following ostracism mediated the relationship between cultural group and the perceived pain of being excluded. Finally, we examine cultural differences in moral responses to ostracism and showed that children from the farming community punished an individual who ostracised someone else less harshly than did children from the independent herding community. Thus different economic cultures are associated with striking differences in social interdependence and responses to ostracism from early in development.

Speaker information

Professor Ayse K Uskul, University of Kent. My primary research interests concern how different cultural settings shape social cognition, conceptions of self, and interpersonal relationships. My current research is organized around three major themes: •Socio-economic basis of interdependence The goal of this project, funded by two British Academy grants, is to investigate how economic activities that encourage different degrees of social interdependence shape cognitive and social functioning. •Cultural conceptions of honour In this comparative project, funded by the National Science Foundation, I investigate the cultural variations in the salience and forms of honour and emotional and behavioural responses to honour-relevant situations. •Culture and health behaviour change This line of work, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Leverhulme Trust, integrates research evidence in social, cultural and health psychology to test novel strategies in health behaviour change. In addition, I am interested in the role of self-regulatory mechanisms in social cognition (e.g. processing of messages), social interaction (e.g., aggression), and mental well-being, as well as social/cultural psychological processes in question comprehension and responding in survey contexts.

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