Social Pressures and Task Performance
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Previous research has demonstrated the impact of the actions of others on task performance – citing that both social acceptance and ostracism can increase task performance (Lustenberger & Jagacinski, 2010; Jamieson et. al., 2010). In this study, the relationship between social inclusion/ostracism and performance on a verbal comprehension task is investigated in an attempt to discover which is more potent in influencing task performance. Two forms of social conditioning are used; face-to-face conditioning (where the participant is either socially accepted or ignored by a confederate) and visualization conditioning (where the participant must visualize a time when they were socially accepted or excluded). The findings of the study indicate that task performance after experiencing social exclusion is higher than after experiencing social acceptance – suggesting that feelings of social exclusion and ostracism lead to a form of need threat which facilitates performance on a verbal comprehension task.