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Keywords:

  • general trust;
  • selecting interaction partners;
  • ‘Settoku Nattoku Game’;
  • social exclusion

This study used the ‘Settoku Nattoku Game’ (SNG) to examine the effect of general trust on the formation of new relationships after social exclusion. The SNG is a game in which half of the players (the Persuaders) must try to convince the other half (the Persuaded) that a statement is true during an initial session (S1). The two groups then switch roles in a second session (S2). Following the SNG protocol, our dependent variable was the number of people sought out as interaction partners during S2. The frequency of being selected as an interaction partner by others during S1 (i.e. having experienced social exclusion or inclusion) significantly affected the number of interaction partners selected during S2. Those who were excluded during S1 engaged in fewer interactions with others during S2. However, this negative effect of social exclusion on subsequent interactions was moderated by general trust. After social exclusion, people low in general trust interacted less with others during S2 as compared to those who were included, but there was no such relationship for people high in general trust. On the contrary, socially excluded individuals high in general trust actively sought to build new relationships with those whom they did not interact with during S1. The relationship between general trust and interactions with others after a social exclusion experience is further discussed.