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Pfundmair, Michaela and Echterhoff, Gerald (2021): Does oxytocin shield against negative effects of ostracism? A replication and extension. In: Biological Psychology, Vol. 163, 108128

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Evidence collected in recent years suggests that OT can alleviate negative consequences of ostracism. However, it is unclear whether this effect requires favorable dispositions. Moreover, research is needed to replicate previous findings. We thus investigated whether a combination of OT and potentially leveraging traits shields against negative effects of ostracism in a direct and conceptual replication of previous work. Seventy-seven males, who varied on potential moderating features, were administered OT or a placebo, and were ostracized or included in the Cyberball paradigm. Results showed that OT tended to attenuate the drop in social comfort in response to ostracism, and induced participants, particularly those high in horizontal collectivism, to toss the ball more often toward an approaching co-player who had ostracized them earlier. Attachment avoidance did not moderate these effects. Thus, the study replicated OT's relieving effects on ostracism, but provided only partial support for the leveraging influence of person factors.

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