CARP Radio
CARP Radio
Oct 13, 2021
The Power (and Pain) of Silence, with Dr. Kipling D. Williams
Play • 1 hr 9 min

This year, the CARP Lab’s annual conference was dedicated to cancel culture, which we define as the practice of expelling people from their social or professional circles due to real or alleged offensive behavior. Those who are “canceled” may be scapegoated, stigmatized, and publicly shamed. Whether rightly or wrongly, canceled people often feel that they have been silenced and are unable to speak up for themselves. 

Although cancel culture is often associated with the rise of social media, social exclusion and ostracism are much older phenomena. That's why we were so lucky to speak with Dr. Kipling D. Williams, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Purdue University who is widely recognized as the world’s leading authority on ostracism and social rejection.

In this episode, Deirdre Jane Prigge and Dr. Williams discuss ostracism’s evolutionary roots, how it works, and why no one is immune to its effects. He also explains how a chance encounter with two Frisbee players led to the development of his ball toss and Cyberball experiments, innovative methods to study how ostracism works in the lab. Finally, Dr. Williams shares why some people recover from ostracism more quickly than others, what we can learn from the stories of amazing people who survived and thrived after experiencing ostracism and exclusion, and how you can help others cope with its effects. 

We truly hope that this episode can be of help to anyone who feels isolated, ignored, or excluded. Ostracism is incredibly painful, but it can be overcome. Finally, if someone you know is dealing with ostracism, don’t be afraid to reach out and form a connection. Even one smile or kind word can make a huge difference. 

If you liked this episode, comment, subscribe, leave us a 5-star rating, and share it with your friends and family. We really appreciate it.

Show Notes

Dr. Williams is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University. His work primarily addresses social influence, which he calls the heart of social psychology. Dr. Williams has conducted research into many areas of social psychology, including ostracism, social loafing and social compensation, internet research, stealing thunder, and psychology and law. You can read more of his work here.

For more updates about the CARP Lab's work, check out our website. We're also on Twitter @CARP_Lab.

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