Date of Award

10-6-2015

Document Type

Thesis and Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Eric Wesselmann

Abstract

I explored the possibility that temperature can alter the same variables affected by ostracism (i.e., being ignored and excluded): belonging, control, meaningful existence, and self-esteem need satisfaction, feelings of ostracism, mood, and loneliness. According to the theory of embodied cognition, individuals can associate physical warmth with social intimacy, as well as cold temperatures with social isolation (Zhong & Leonardelli, 2008; IJzerman et al., 2012). Bargh and Shalev (2012) found that participants holding a cold pack reported higher loneliness than participants holding a neutral or warm pack. My study expands upon Bargh and Shalevâ??s (2012) findings by examining more emotions frequently associated with ostracism. Furthermore, my study uses gum as a non-haptic manipulation of temperature to expand on evidence of cross-modal associations (Barsalou, 2008). With 170 participants at Illinois State University I induced sensations of heat with red, cinnamon-flavored gum, coldness with white, peppermint-flavored gum, and a neutral temperature with purple, mixed-berry flavored gum. I then measured variables typically collected in ostracism research. Results indicated that although the gum conditions were perceived to be significantly different temperatures, there was no main effect of gum condition on the ostracism related cognitions while controlling for liking of gum and familiarity with gum. I suggest several possible explanations for the inability of gum to induce changes in cognition, including the possibility that the gum causes positive cognitions that impede any negative effect cold temperature may have on cognitions. Future research should explore if the non-haptic nature of the gum manipulation hinders its ability to alter cognitions and emotions.

Comments

Imported from ProQuest Oglesby_ilstu_0092N_10633.pdf

Page Count

79

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