The need to belong has been forwarded as a pervasive human motive, influencing a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses. The current research explored the influence of belongingness needs on the selective retention of social information. Just as physical hunger results in selective memory for food-relevant stimuli, it was hypothesized that social hunger, aroused when belongingness needs were unmet, would result in selective memory for socially relevant stimuli. In two studies, the authors used a simulated computer chat room to present brief acceptance or rejection experiences to participants. Participants then read a diary containing both social and individual events. In both, rejection experiences resulted in selective memory for the explicitly social events of the diary. The implication of these results for the existence and consequences of a basic need to belong are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology