Within-person effects of inclusion and exclusion on well-being in daily life

Michael J. Bernstein, Andreas B. Neubauer, Jacob A. Benfield, Lindsey Potter, Joshua M. Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Whether exclusion hurts or inclusion feels good is debated within social psychology, and research designs often compare people who are excluded from those who are included. Here, we examined how participants differ when they are excluded or included relative to when they are not engaging in social interactions. Participants completed an ecological momentary assessment study (7 days, six measures a day). Participants indicated if they were having a social interaction, whether the interaction was inclusionary or exclusionary, and their mood and basic needs. We found that when people were excluded, relative to no interaction, they had lower basic needs and worsened mood; the reverse was true during inclusion episodes. We also found that the within-person effect of exclusion was larger than the within-person effect of inclusion and that exclusion experiences were relatively uncommon (≈10% of all reported social interactions). Future research and the importance of examining within-person effects are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)940-960
Number of pages21
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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