Atimia: A New Paradigm for Investigating How Individuals Feel When Ostracizing Others

James H. Wirth, Michael J. Bernstein, Angie S. LeRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


To date, researchers studying ostracism (being excluded and ignored) focused on examining the consequences of ostracism. However, researchers have not yet systematically investigated why individuals ostracize others. One impediment to this research is lacking multiple means to successfully induce individuals to be sources, those who ostracize others. Using Cyberball, researchers found participants ostracized a player delaying the game. To aid in systematic research on sources, we developed the game Atimia. In Atimia, players took turns solving remote associate word items and we varied the performance of a computer-controlled player to perform equal to or significantly worse than the group. Without prompting, participants ostracized a poor-versus equal-performing player more and found the poor-performing player burdensome, less likable, and less desirable to work with on a future task. Study outcomes suggest Atimia is a viable paradigm for investigating sources of ostracism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-514
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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