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Keywords:

  • affect;
  • emotions;
  • sleep loss;
  • social behaviour;
  • social exclusion

Summary

Previous research suggests that sleep deprivation may heighten normal reactions to an aversive social encounter. In this study, we explored how 24 h of sleep deprivation may influence responses to ostracism. Ninety-six healthy young adults were randomly allocated to either the sleep-deprivation or well-rested condition, wherein they engaged in two rounds of a ball-tossing game (Cyberball) programmed so that they would be included or ostracized. As compared with being included, being ostracized reduced participants' fulfillment of four essential needs (to belong; to have control; to have self-esteem; and to have a meaningful existence); participants also showed poorer mood and had poorer perceptions of their co-players. These effects were not influenced by sleep deprivation. Taken together, our findings suggest that sleep deprivation does not influence immediate distress responses to ostracism.