Social Ostracism Paradigms O’Cam, O’Train, Cyberball: the Experience of Pilot Research (Russian Federation)



Objective. Approbation of techniques that allow simulating a situation of social ostracism (ignoring, exclusion, rejection). Background. Social ostracism can be fleeting or manifest itself in a chronic protracted form, leading to depression, causing a sense of loss of meaning in life, and in extreme cases results in an antisocial reaction. The study of this phenomenon in the realities of Russian reality poses a number of theoretical (lack of an established theoretical basis) and, as a consequence, methodological problems for domestic scientists. Study design. Three experiments were conducted with different scenarios and methods of simulating inclusion/exclusion conditions, the technique of psychological debriefing was used. Threatened Needs Scale-Ostracism (Boykina, 2019 adaptation) was used in two experiments in two modifications: for adults and children. The calibration of the “Cyberball” inclusion/exclusion conditions parameters was carried out. Participants. The study included three samples: the «O’Train» approbation: N=66, 61 female, 5 -male, M – 18,3; «Cyberball»: N=96, 57 female, 39 male, M – 12,84; «O’Cam»: N=37, 19 female, 18 male, M – 13,6. Measurements. Experimental method, self-reporting methodology Scale of Threatened Needs- Ostracism, computer program “Cyberball” (Williams, Cheung, Choi, 2000), qualitative data analysis. Results. The tested techniques have confirmed their reliability as a method of simulating the situation of social ostracism. Conclusions. The following admission selection criteria are formulated as recommendations: 1) simulation of conditions of ignoring/exclusion/rejection, 2) the least psychological discomfort of the object, 3) viability of the research organization (including the number of participants in the experiment and the reliability of the legend), 4) avoidance of confrontation of participants. The methods tested by the authors can be used both in research and in applied goals, taking into account compliance with the ethical principles of psychological experiment.

General Information

Keywords: social ostracism, exclusion, ignoring, rejection, destructive behavior, methodology, Cyberball, O’Cam, O’Train, the Temporal Need Threat Model of Ostracism (Williams K.D.)

Journal rubric: Methodological Tools

Article type: scientific article


Received: 25.04.2021


For citation: Boykina E.E. Social Ostracism Paradigms O’Cam, O’Train, Cyberball: the Experience of Pilot Research (Russian Federation) . Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2021. Vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 189–206. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2021120411. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)



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Information About the Authors

Ekaterina E. Boykina, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Legal Psychology and Law, Faculty of Legal Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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