Saturday, September 27, 2008

Getting The Cold Shoulder

Ever feel a chill when someone rebuffs you?

Well, psychologists Dr. Chen-Bo Zhong and Dr. Geoffrey Leonardelli - from the University of Toronto - tested the idea if social isolation really generates feelings of coldness.

They designed a study where volunteers had to estimate the temperature of a room on the pretense that the building's maintenance staff wanted that information.

Those who were told to think about a socially isolating experience when entering the room gave colder temperature estimates. In other words, recalled memories of being ostracized actually made people experience the temperature as colder than those who were not instructed to imagine such experiences. "We found that the experience of social exclusion literally feels cold," Zhong said.

Check out more about this interesting study in the journal of Psychological Science


Clueless said...

The findings just seem to make total sense to me.

Deb said...

I have definitely felt a chill when I get socially rejected in some way.

jenji said...

Social experiments are usually pretty fascinating and I have to agree, rejection does evoke a certain clammy, cold feeling.

I'm currently devising a plan to incorporate some sort of social experiment into my MFA thesis. I wish we lived somewhere within the same area Deb, I'd have to beg you to meet for coffee so that I might pick your brain. Okay fine, you're off the hook.

The university I attend is a research university, while i have a BA in both film production and psychology; therefore I fully intend on incorporating the two together, but the psychology department at the university doesn't have much, if any experience with media psychology. Blah.

So, I'm hoping to open new doors and energize some individuals within the department to explore the possibilities along with me.

Now I bet you're wondering:
how did jenji manage to make this blogpost response all about her?

Well, what can I say? It's a gift. lol

So I digress:
I believe that the image you used for
this post is a snippet of Terry Border's work. If anyone is interested in seeing more of his work you can see it here:

He has some really clever creations.

be well,

Dreamwriter said...

OMG! First I have to say that when I first came to your blog and saw this picture GREASE the movie came to my mind. LOL. When Travolta was singing in the Theatre on the swing and behind him was the hotdog and bun going back and forth and then finally the dog jumped into the bun! LOL

Anyways, I agree with this post. Rejection is no fun, no matter where and from whom.

In a social setting is no fun with other people around and not only do you feel a chill but others feel uncomfortable.

Battle Weary said...

This is pretty interesting. I'm going to share it in my Social Psych class Tuesday morning!

phd in yogurtry said...

Mystery of another euphemism solved!

The Lone Beader said...

A hot dog would be cold without it's roll. LOL.

therapydoc said...

Crazy stuff.

Tracy said...

Wow how interesting! It makes sense though.

Vesper de Vil said...

I would say "wow"...but this news doesn't surprise me. When I'm in a difficult situation with someone, my body goes cold...especially my hands and legs.

Denise said...

This is interesing but not suprising to me, i know when I've been in a socialyrejected situation in the past I have experienced cold chills and my hands and feet get ice cold.! Interesting stuff!!

Jade said...

Odd...I feel hot during these awkward moments.. I think my anxiety kicks in. I wonder if those that feel cold have a drop in blood pressure..? That could lead to a cold sensation.

Muser said...

I've been using body temp as a physiological cue for my social anxiety for a while. I don't always recognize "ah, I'm feeling anxious" but I *do* recognize that I'm feeling code. Which then cues me to check my emotional state and what could be contributing to it.

Physiological cues are amazing like that!

Marie said...

I have suffered with social isolation for many years. As a result of the abuse and social unacceptance by my peers I went inward. I became hyper sensitive. I am still a little bit sensitive to meaness.

This is a very interesting study. I wouldn't mind participating in one myself.

Please check out my latest post. Some exciting news there!

alan said...

I knew that's how things worked, but hadn't thought about why...

Ben Franklin I believe was the one who said we needed to learn something new every day; thank you for my treat for today!


Rose said...

I don't know I never noticed. I'm not sure if I chill or sweat. I'll pay attention should this happens soon.

Deb said...

I bet you will do something creative and meaningful for your thesis. I have no doubt. Which research Uni are you at?

I remember that commercial when they were in the drive in, right?

Battle Weary,
LEt us know what they think!

Phd in yogurtry,
Well, maybe the expression should be that you get a cold shoulder, not the person giving you a cold shoulder...

Lone Beader,
You made me smile with that one.

Interesting, I think

I don't get a chill, rather I feel flushed. I think it is panic and anxiety rushing forth. The coldness comes later for me.

Vesper de Vil,
I get a warm flush to my face and chest. Later a chill in my extremities like you. Funny huh?

You would have reported the room to be cold then, right?

I get warm too. I agree with you that a drop in bp might be going on. Could also be a fight or flight response that would kick in certain self-preserving neurochemicals.

I am going to have to pay really close attention the next time I get rejected. I agree, thsoe kind of cues can be so helpful

I can understand the social isolation hypersensitivity thing.

Glad you found it interesting. And that Ben Frankling, what a witty rascal he was.

For me, it's heat first. Then a cold frosty chill.

The Lady Girl said...

After a bit of stimulation, my crush is giving me a lot of excuses and the cold shoulder.

jumpinginpuddles said...

we give our ex teh cold shoulder al lthe time but he doesnt get it maybe we need to give the cold shoulder by placing him in a freezer now there s an idea!!!!!!!!!

Guilty Secret said...

How funny!

Awake In Rochester said...

Although somewhat interesting, you would think that they would put their research dollars into something more substantial.

I once saw a man who looked up-kept, and kind of wild enter a restaurant. He sat down, and while he ate he was constantly talking to someone in a normal voice. The thing is that no one was sitting with him. This was before cell phones, so there was something very wrong with this man. Now he is someone who needs to be researched!

princessdominique said...

Yes they make sense to me too. Sometimes people think that there is no legitimacy in findings like these. They do however validate those who have the feelings.

dr natura said...

Social rejection occurs when an individual is deliberately excluded from a social relationship or social interaction. The topic includes both interpersonal rejection (or peer rejection) and romantic rejection. A person can be rejected on an individual basis or by an entire group of people. Furthermore, rejection can be either active, by bullying, teasing, or ridiculing, or passive, by ignoring a person, or giving the "silent treatment." The experience of being rejected is subjective for the recipient, and it can be perceived when it is not actually present.

Even though humans are highly social, it is impossible to interact with everyone all the time. This means that some level of rejection is an inevitable part of life. Nevertheless, rejection can become a problem when it is prolonged or consistent, when the relationship is important, or when the individual is highly sensitive to rejection. Rejection by an entire group of people can have especially negative effects, particularly when it results in social isolation.[1]

The experience of rejection can lead to a number of adverse psychological consequences such as loneliness, reduced self-esteem, aggression, and depression.[2] It can also lead to feelings of insecurity and a heightened sensitivity to future rejection.