Date of Award

Spring 2023

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Honors Bachelor of Arts




Andrew Luchner

Committee Member

Paul Harris

Committee Member

Stacey Dunn


Social exclusion has been widely associated with feelings of anxiety, depressed mood, anger, and hostility. Previous literature indicates that mentalized affectivity (MA), a sophisticated form of emotional regulation, may be effective in mitigating emotional experience after social exclusion. In light of this research, our study sought to examine the predictive value of mentalized affectivity and inclusion/exclusion on emotion. Participants (N = 170) completed measures of mentalized affectivity and positive and negative affect, in addition to playing a virtual ball-tossing game that would randomly assign them to an inclusion or exclusion condition. Multiple regression analyses revealed that mentalized affectivity predicted both positive and negative affect. However, the inclusion/exclusion was only successful in predicting positive emotion. When looking more specifically at the individual components of mentalized affectivity, only processing ability was significant when assessed for positive affect, while both processing and expressing were significant in terms of negative affect. Our study highlights the importance of mentalized affectivity in promoting healthy psychological functioning, as opposed to merely decreasing psychopathology and negative emotion.