Examining evidence for the integrated neural representation of self theory using cyberball
LE3 .A278 2019
Bachelor of Arts
One hundred and seventy-nine undergraduate university students participated in a two-stage study that examined evidence for the Integrated Neural Representation of Self Theory (DiTommaso & Price, 2017) in conditions of inclusion and ostracism. The theory states that individuals who have high caregiver sensitivity in childhood develop an integrated brain that is able to cope successfully in situations of distress, even when an attachment figure is physically unavailable to provide support. Individuals with inadequate caregiver sensitivity do not possess an integrated brain and, as such, experience difficulty coping during distress. The study examined the differences in coping in individuals with high caregiver sensitivity (HCS) versus low caregiver sensitivity (LCS) in conditions of exclusion and ostracism through a game of Cyberball. Cyberball can be programmed to include or exclude participants, and has been shown to be effective in provoking perceived ostracism. Physiological changes and self-report measures were analyzed. Results showed no significant physiological changes for participants, but did show some significant and marginally significant differences on self-report measures of affect, resilience, stress, and needs satisfaction. Strengths and limitations are discussed in detail.
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