May 16, 2011 — The silent treatment. It’s the act of ignoring and excluding. Kids learn about it in the playground, and adults do it in the workplace. It was even a common political practice in ancient Greece. It’s also known as ostracism, and the effect can range from temporary discomfort to lifelong pain. Dr. Dan Gottlieb examines ostracism: how and when it’s used and how it affects us, with leading researchers on the subject Kipling Williams and Steve Nida. They’ve published Ostracism: Consequences and Coping. The article appears in Current Directions in Psychological Science. Williams is a professor of psychological sciences at Purdue University. He’s the author of Ostracism: the Power of Silence. Nida, a professor of psychology, is Associate Provost and Dean at The Citadel Graduate College.
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