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However, if a person has been ostracized for a long time, they may not have the ability to continue coping as the pain lingers. "It also increases anger and sadness, and long-term ostracism can result in alienation, depression, helplessness and feelings of unworthiness." Williams is trying to better understand how ostracized individuals may be attracted to extreme groups and what might be the reactions of ostracized groups.
"These groups provide members with a sense of belonging, self-worth and control, but they can fuel narrowness, radicalism and intolerance, and perhaps a propensity toward hostility and violence toward others," he said.
"Being excluded is painful because it threatens fundamental human needs, such as belonging and self-esteem," Williams said.
"Again and again research has found that strong, harmful reactions are possible even when ostracized by a stranger or for a short amount of time." More than 5,000 people have participated in studies using a computer game designed by Williams to show how just two or three minutes of ostracism can produce lingering negative feelings.
Williams' research is reported in the current issue of . Nida, associate provost and dean of The Citadel Graduate College and a professor of psychology.
In Cyberball, the subject plays an online game of catch with two other players.
Eventually the two other players begin throwing the ball only to each other, excluding the subject.
For those living with cancer, changes that affect roles and relationships in your daily life may be especially challenging.
Cancer treatment can cause a change in energy level.