Hutchison, Paul and Ewens, Emily (2020) Social inclusion and the role of psychologists. In: Handbook of social inclusion: research and practices in health and social sciences. Springer, Singapore, 1 -17. ISBN 9783030482770
social inclusion, social exclusion, rejection, group identification, social identity, multiple group memberships
This chapter provides an overview of theory and research on the psychology of social inclusion and exclusion, and, in particular, the impact that being socially included or excluded can have on physical health and psychological well-being. It is not an exhaustive overview, nor is it intended to be. Instead, discussion is limited to two recent and inter-related lines of theory and research with demonstrated potential to inform policy and practice. The chapter begins with an overview of a series of laboratory-based experiments showing how even a relatively trivial and short-lived experience of social exclusion can have a profound negative impact on psychological functioning and well-being. The focus then shifts to an emerging body of social psychological research demonstrating the positive psychological and health-related consequences of belonging to, identifying with, and feeling included in important and valued social groups. This is followed by a discussion of some practical implications arising from these and other lines of social psychological theory and research for strategies aimed at mitigating the potentially harmful effects of social exclusion and harnessing the potentially beneficial effects of social inclusion.