Navigating social life requires accurately calibrated sensitivity to external feedback, thus extreme sensitivity to external feedback may be maladaptive. Using a daily diary design, the authors investigated whether the relationship between social hypersensitivity and daily events predicted level, lability, and reactivity of both self-esteem and affect. Relative to their less sensitive peers, socially hypersensitive people exhibited lower levels of self-esteem and greater negative affect and experienced greater fluctuations in self-esteem and negative affect. Although most people were negatively reactive to the presence of negative feedback, socially hypersensitive people were negatively reactive to the absence of positive feedback as well. The authors argue that reactivity to the absence of positive feedback is a fundamental, heretofore untested aspect of what makes social hypersensitivity a pernicious orientation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- social hypersensitivity