Skip to content

Social acceptance and rejection: The sweet and the bitter

by C. N. DeWall, B. J. Bushman
Current Directions in Psychological Science ()
Get full text at journal


People have a fundamental need for positive and lasting relationships. In this article, we provide an overview of social psychological research on the topic of social acceptance and rejection. After defining these terms, we describe the need to belong and how it enabled early humans to fulfill their survival and reproductive goals. Next, we review research on the effects of social rejection on emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and biological responses. We also describe research on the neural correlates of social rejection. We offer a theoretical account to explain when and why social rejection produces desirable and undesirable outcomes. We then review evidence regarding how people cope with the pain of social rejection. We conclude by identifying factors associated with heightened and diminished responses to social rejection.

Cite this document (BETA)

Readership Statistics

159 Readers on Mendeley
by Discipline
67% Psychology
11% Social Sciences
8% Business, Management and Accounting
by Academic Status
31% Student > Ph. D. Student
20% Student > Master
14% Student > Bachelor
by Country
4% United States
3% United Kingdom
1% Germany

Sign up today - FREE

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research. Learn more

  • All your research in one place
  • Add and import papers easily
  • Access it anywhere, anytime

Start using Mendeley in seconds!

Sign up & Download

Already have an account? Sign in