Feeling authentic serves as a buffer against rejection

Francesca Gino*, Maryam Kouchaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Social exclusion is a painful yet common experience in many people's personal and professional lives. This research demonstrates that feeling authentic serves as a buffer against social rejection, leading people to experience less social pain. Across five studies, using different manipulations of authenticity, different paradigms to create social exclusion, and different measures of feeling rejected, we found that experiencing authenticity led participants to appraise situations as less threatening and to experience lower feelings of rejection from the social exclusion. We also found that perceived threat explains these effects. Our findings suggest that authenticity may be an underused resource for people who perceive themselves to be, or actually are, socially excluded or ostracized. This research has diverse and important implications: Interventions that increase authenticity could be used to reduce perceptions of threatening situations and the pain of impending exclusion episodes in situations ranging from adjustment to college to organizational orientation programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-50
Number of pages15
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Authenticity
  • Decision making
  • Social exclusion
  • Threat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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