Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Interactive Effects of Perceived Social Exclusion and Self-Construal on Recycling Behavior

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Interactive Effects of Perceived Social Exclusion and Self-Construal on Recycling Behavior

Article excerpt

Perceived social exclusion is an emotional state in which people's need for a sense of belonging is threatened, or they feel ignored or rejected by society (Lee & Shrum, 2012). Previous researchers have shown that perceived social exclusion has both positive and negative effects on social behaviors. Although there could be psychologically significant negative effects (Lee & Shrum, 2012), such as aggressive behavior (Twenge, Baumeister, Tice, & Stucke, 2001), perceived social exclusion has also been found to result in prosocial behavior, thus exerting a positive impact on social behavior (Knowles, 2014). However, few researchers have thus far explored the reasons underlying these inconsistent findings. We investigated the effects of perceived social exclusion on recycling behavior, as recycling is a type of behavior related to social norms and society (Cialdini, Reno, & Kallgren, 1990), yet the effects of perceived social exclusion on recycling behavior have received little attention in previous research (Park & Baumeister, 2015).

As the inconsistent findings on perceived social exclusion are believed to result from moderating effects, we therefore introduced self-construal as a moderator to explore the effects of perceived social exclusion on recycling behavior. Self-construal can be further classified into interdependent self-construal and independent self-construal (Triandis, 1999). Previous researchers have shown that these two types of self-construal could produce a moderating effect on social behavior (Arnocky, Stroink, & DeCicco, 2007), which may lead to inconsistent findings concerning the effects of perceived social exclusion.

Literature Review and Conceptual Framework

Perceived Social Exclusion

Social exclusion is related to people's need for a sense of belonging; when that need cannot be satisfied, people feel excluded (Lee & Shrum, 2012). Prior researchers have revealed that perceived social exclusion has a significantly negative impact on people's social behavior and may even trigger aggressive behaviors (Twenge et al., 2001), resulting in a refusal to participate in society (Wang & Wang, 2016). It may also distort people's perception of social networks (O'Connor & Gladstone, 2015) or lead them to develop a strong prevention motivation, that is, the feeling of a need to protect themselves (Park & Baumeister, 2015).

However, some other researchers believe that perceived social exclusion may cause prosocial behavior. For example, Mead et al. (2011) suggested that perceived social exclusion may lead people to sacrifice their own interests for the good of society. Jugert et al. (2016) maintained that when people's self-esteem and sense of belonging are threatened, they are more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior to deepen their connection with society. Knowles (2014) argued that, in order to avoid social exclusion, it is much easier for socially excluded people to adopt others' perspectives than it is for those who do not feel socially excluded. Lee and Shrum (2012) found that when people are indirectly rejected, they are more willing to offer help or donations via prosocial behavior; Narayanan, Tai, and Kinias (2013) discovered that perceived social exclusion encourages people to seek more opportunities to associate with society.

To date, researchers have reached varied conclusions about the effects of perceived social exclusion on social behavior. However, none of them has attempted to justify such inconsistent findings (Lee & Shrum, 2012; O'Connor & Gladstone, 2015; Wang & Wang, 2016).

Self-Construal

Self-construal consists of interdependent self-construal and independent selfconstrual, and people can be separated into different groups according to these categories (Triandis, 1999). People with an interdependent self-construal are accustomed to forming close relationships with others and society, which in turn influences their behaviors (Lu, Fung, & Doosje, 2017). …

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