Fear of negative evaluation moderates the effect of social inclusion and social feedback on fundamental needs


Objective. The current study examines the effects of preferential inclusion on fulfilling fundamental needs after having received ambiguous or positive social feedback and investigates how social insecurity moderates this effect. Method. 438 participants (58.7% women, mean age 39) either received positive or ambiguous social feedback, then participated either in a social participation (Cyberball/control task) or a preferential social inclusion (Überball/experimental manipulation) task, then finally reported the fulfillment of their fundamental needs. Participants also completed a measure of social insecurity and other personality measures. Results. The two main results emerging from the current study are: (a) Überball—the preferential social inclusion condition—leads to higher fulfillment of fundamental needs than Cyberball; and (b) socially anxious individuals (those high in fear of negative evaluation) significantly benefit from preferential social inclusion (Überball) when receiving positive feedback but not when receiving ambiguous feedback. Conclusion. Overall, this research shows that Überball leads to higher fulfillment of fundamental needs than a social participation task like Cyberball Inclusion. This study is a valid and valuable condition to study the protective effects of social inclusion. It also suggests that socially insecure individuals benefit most from being preferentially socially included after receiving positive social feedback than simply being included.

Rémi Thériault
Rémi Thériault
PhD Student (Social Psychology)

My research interests include social/implicit cognition, altruism, and dreams.