There is a grain of truth in the image of a person eating sorrows with chips or ice cream after parting with a partner. Such people can also lie on the couch for days on end, without strength to get up and take care of anything that requires concentration. Findings from researchers at the State Universities of San Diego, Florida and Florida Atlantic, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, prove that people who were excluded from any social group may be less able to control their behavior. In the course of the study, the participants were randomly selected to two groups in which they experienced social rejection or to a control group in which the sense of rejection was not manipulated. “Thanks to the experiments controlled in the laboratory, we managed to establish the direction of the relationship – this social rejection leads to a breakdown in behavior control, not the other way around” explains Professor Jean Twenge, head of the team of researchers. Researchers tested their theses in six experiments, in which a total of 245 people took part. In the first study, participants who were persuaded that they would spend the rest of their lives in solitude, to a lesser extent (than the control group) were ready to drink a healthy (though not good taste) drink. In another study, participants who were told that none of their group would work with them later, ate significantly more chocolate cookies than the control group. The third study showed that subjects separated from the group significantly faster resigned from solving a difficult task than the participants staying in the group. Three additional experiments were also conducted, in which it was proved that the rejected persons had difficulty in maintaining attention in the verbal task, but the result was improved when they received money for the correct solution or when they sat opposite the mirror. The conclusion of the above findings is clear: control of your behavior requires effort. “Information about rejection by others weakens the willingness to bear the effort required for effective self-regulation of behavior” – explains Professor Twenge.