EVALUATING SOCIAL EXCLUSION: THE INTERACTION BETWEEN GROUP GOALS AND TARGET CHARACTERISTICS
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Past work has revealed that adolescents utilize a variety of justifications to support exclusion and inclusion judgments. Group functioning justifications (e.g., "She will ruin the group/make the group work well") are one frequently cited class of considerations. This type of justification is suggestive of an attempt by the adolescent to coordinate group concerns with what the target will likely bring to the group. The above account of group functioning considerations, however, has yet to be formally tested. In this report, both target characteristics (e.g., aggression, shyness, gender) as well as group goals (competitive, noncompetitive) are manipulated in a soccer context to assess the extent to which exclusion judgments rely on the perception of target-group fit. We demonstrate evidence consistent with a target-group fit account of exclusion judgments. Implications and future directions are considered.