Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Eric Wesselmann

Eric Wesselmann

I am generally interested in understanding social influence within groups. Both individuals and groups commonly ostracize (i.e., ignore and exclude) others as a method of influence. My research focuses on both the experience of ostracized individuals and how their experiences facilitates their susceptibility to influence, as well as the function of ostracism as a form of social control. I also conduct research on the interpersonal dynamics of adverse reactions to stigmatized groups (e.g., persons with mental illness). Lastly, I have additional interests in the social psychological aspects of membership in religious/spiritual groups.

Primary Interests:

  • Aggression, Conflict, Peace
  • Group Processes
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Self and Identity

Journal Articles:

  • Kassner, M. P., Wesselmann, E. D., Law, A. T., & Williams, K. D. (2012). Virtually ostracized: Studying ostracism in Immersive Virtual Environments. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 15, 399-403.
  • Ren, D., Wesselmann, E. D., & Williams, K. D. (2013). Interdependent self‐construal moderates coping with (but not the initial pain of) ostracism. Asian Journal of Social Psychology, 16, 320-326.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Bagg, D., & Williams, K. D. (2009). "I feel your pain": The effects of observing ostracism on the ostracism detection system. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1308-1311.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Butler, F. A., Williams, K. D., & Pickett, C. L. (2010). Adding injury to insult: Unexpected rejection leads to more aggressive responses. Aggressive Behavior, 36, 232-237.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., & Graziano, W. G. (2010). Sinful and/or possessed? Religious beliefs and mental illness stigma. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 29, 402-437.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Ren, D., Swim, E., & Williams, K. D. (2013). Rumination hinders recovery from ostracism. International Journal of Developmental Science, 7, 33-39.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Reeder, G. D., & Pryor, J. B. (2012). The effects of time pressure on controlling reactions to persons with mental illness. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 34, 565-571.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Nairne, J. S., & Williams, K. D. (2012). An evolutionary social psychological approach to studying the effects of ostracism. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 6, 308-327.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., & Kelly, J. R. (2010). Cat-calls and culpability: Investigating the frequency and functions of stranger harassment. Sex Roles, 63, 451-462.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Wirth, J. H., Mroczek, D. K., & Williams, K. D. (2012). Dial a feeling: Detecting moderation of affect decline during ostracism. Personality and Individual Differences, 53, 580–586.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Cardoso, F., Slater, S., & Williams, K. D. (2012). "To be looked at as though air": Civil attention matters. Psychological Science, 23, 166-168.
  • Pryor, J. B., Reeder, G. D., Wesselmann, E. D., Williams, K. D., & Wirth, J. H. (2013). The influence of social norms upon behavioral expressions of implicit and explicit weight-related stigma in an interactive game. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, 86, 189-201.
  • Nezlek, J. B., Wesselmann, E. D., Wheeler, L., & Williams, K. D. (2012). Ostracism in everyday life. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 16, 91-104.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Williams, K. D., & Hales, A. (2013). Vicarious ostracism. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00153.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., & Williams, K. D. (2013). A commentary on “Cyberball: A reasonable paradigm for studying ostracism in developmental science?” International Journal of Developmental Science, 7, 57-63.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., & Williams, K. D. (2010). The potential balm of religion and spirituality for recovering from ostracism. Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion, 7, 29-45.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Williams, K. D., Pryor, J. B., Eichler, F. A., Gill, D. M., & Hogue, J. D. (2014). Revisiting Schachter’s research on rejection, deviance, and communication (1951). Social Psychology, 45, 164-169.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., Wirth, J. H., Pryor, J. B., Reeder, G. D., & Williams, K. D. (2013). When do we ostracize? Social Psychology and Personality Science, 4, 108-115.

Other Publications:

  • Wesselmann, E. D., Williams, K. D., Ren, D., & Hales, A. (2014). Ostracism and solitude. In R. J. Coplan & J. Bowker (Eds.), A handbook of solitude: Psychological perspectives on social isolation, social withdrawal, and being alone (pp. 224-241). Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Wesselmann, E. D., & Williams, K. D. (2013). Ostracism and stages of coping. In C. N. DeWall (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of social exclusion (pp. 20-30). New York: Oxford University Press.

Courses Taught:

  • Dynamics of Social Behavior (upper-level undergrad social psych course)
  • Experimental Design (graduate level methods/statistics course)
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Social Psychology
  • Psychology of Women
  • Reasoning in Psychology Using Statistics
  • Social Psychology and Film

Eric Wesselmann
Department of Psychology
Illinois State University
Normal, Illinois 61790-4620
United States

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