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Connection heals wounds: feeling listened to reduces speakers’ loneliness following a social rejection disclosure

Itzchakov, G. ORCID:, Weinstein, N. ORCID:, Saluk, D. and Amar, M. (2022) Connection heals wounds: feeling listened to reduces speakers’ loneliness following a social rejection disclosure. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 014616722211003. ISSN 1552-7433

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/01461672221100369


Memories of rejection contribute to feeling lonely. However, high-quality listening that conveys well-meaning attention and understanding when speakers discuss social rejection may help them to reconnect. Speakers may experience less loneliness because they feel close and connected (relatedness) to the listener and because listening supports self-congruent expression (autonomy). Five experiments (total N = 1,643) manipulated listening during visualized (Studies 1, 4, 5) and actual (Studies 2, 3) conversations. We used different methods (video vignettes; in-person; computer-mediated; recall; written scenarios) to compare high-quality with regular (all studies) and poor (Study 1) listening. Findings across studies showed that high-quality listening reduced speakers’ state loneliness after they shared past experiences of social rejection. Parallel mediation analyses indicated that both feeling related to the listener and autonomy satisfaction (particularly its self-congruence component; Study 5) mediated the effect of listening on loneliness. These results provide novel insights into the hitherto unexplored effect of listening on state loneliness.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:105987
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social Psychology
Additional Information:** From Crossref journal articles via Jisc Publications Router ** Journal IDs: pissn 0146-1672; eissn 1552-7433 ** History: issued 21-06-2022; published_online 21-06-2022
Publisher:SAGE Publications


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