Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Cold Shoulder Is Going Further Than It Used To

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Giving people the cold shoulder is doing more damage these days than ever before.

That’s according to Kipling Williams, a professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University, who says ostracism has more effect these days because people have fewer strong family and friend support systems than in previous times.

Williams says, “In the past, people who were ostracized at work or by a friend could seek support and control through another significant relationship.”

But now, he says, people report growing more distant with extended family and rely on fewer close friends.

When someone is ostracized, the anterior cingulate cortex – the part of the brain that detects pain – is activated. The pain diminishes when someone has had time to talk about it with friends.

Williams says ostracism can affect people’s perceptions, physiological conditions, attitude and behavior – all of which sometimes leads to aggression.

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