I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at The Ohio State University at Newark. I earned my Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University (2003) and both my Master’s (2007) and Ph.D. from Purdue University (2010). Before coming to OSU-Newark, I was an Assistant Professor at the University of North Florida (2010-2013).
I investigate group processes, especially those associated with being ostracized (excluded and ignored). I study the extent of ostracism’s impact on social pain, basic human needs, mood, and aggression. As part of this research, I examine whether individual differences and situational factors can moderate ostracism’s immediate and delayed effects. I also investigate why individuals ostracize others. Using a variety of manipulations, I found that the likelihood an individual will be ostracized increases as the individual is perceived as more burdensome to the group. The burdensome group member is the group member most likely to be kicked out of the group. Across this research, I incorporate intergroup relations, personality, non-verbal communication, and novel, group-based research paradigms.
Wesselmann, E. D., Wirth, J. H., Pryor, J. B., Reeder, G. D., & Williams, K. D. (2013). When do we ostracize? Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 108-115.
Sacco, D. F., Wirth, J. H., Chen, Z., Hugenberg, K., & Williams, K. D. (2011). The world in black and white: Ostracism enhances the categorical perception of social information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 836–842.
Wirth, J. H., Lynam, D. R., & Williams, K. D. (2010). When social pain isn’t automatic: Personality disorders buffer ostracism’s immediate negative impact. Journal of Research in Personality, 44, 397-401.
Wirth, J. H., Sacco, D. F., Hugenberg, K., & Williams, K. D. (2010). Eye gaze as relational evaluation: Averted eye gaze leads to feelings of ostracism and relational devaluation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 869-882.
Wirth, J. H., & Bodenhausen, G. V. (2009). The role of gender in mental illness stigma: A national experiment. Psychological Science, 20, 169-173.
Wirth, J. H., & Williams, K. D. (2009). “They don’t like our kind”: Consequences of being ostracized while possessing a group membership. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 12, 111-127.
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