Date of Award

Summer 8-2015

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Donald Sacco

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Michael Bernstein

Committee Member 3 Department



Recent research has demonstrated that antisocial behavior following a general ostracism experience is mediated by increased feelings of entitlement (Poon, Chen, & DeWall, 2013) and anger (Chow, Tiedens, & Govan, 2008). However, this prior research has failed to determine whether ostracism in general leads to antisocial behavior, or only ostracism that is perceived of as unfair or unjust. The purpose of the current study was to manipulate the perceived fairness of the ostracism experience (fair or unfair) and assess participants’ antisocial behavioral intentions (i.e., dishonest intentions). It was hypothesized that an unfair ostracism experience (compared to a fair ostracism or control experience) would lead to more antisocial behavior, specifically dishonest behavioral intentions, which would be mediated by increased feelings of anger and entitlement. In two studies, participants completed an essay task to prime an ostracism experience (fair or unfair) or a negative control experience on a between-participants basis, and then completed measures assessing their sense of entitlement, feelings of anger, and likelihood of behaving dishonestly. Contrary to our hypotheses, unjust ostracism participants did not report greater dishonest behavioral intentions, anger, or sense of entitlement compared to just ostracism and control participants. Interestingly, however, Study 1 found that just ostracism may actually decrease dishonest intentions and Study 2 demonstrated that ostracism, in general, results in an increase in other-directed, but not self-directed, anger. We provide potential theoretical explanations for our unsupported predictions as well as unanticipated significant findings.