Ostracism is a powerful and pervasive phenomenon that dates back to ancient times and occurs in most cultures (Gruter & Masters, 1986). There are numerous examples from around the world in which not only tribes, clans, and small groups, but also institutions and governments use ostracism in response to those who do not contribute to the collective or who deviate from social or cultural norms. In traditional Balinese society, for instance, the most severe sentence that can be imposed on someone who breaks customary law is kasepekang, which implies that this person will be ignored by the village community and will also be banned from the village temples that are central to Hindu spiritual life (e.g., Belford, 2010). In Pakistan, members of the Pathan hill tribes (Pukhtun) are expelled from their community (kashunda) when they have committed an act that might lead to reprisal by another clan (Mahdi, 1986). And among the Amish in the United States, individuals who have violated the rules of the church face Meidung: until they correct their errant behavior, they are avoided by their neighbors, close friends, and even family members in all social and business activities (Gruter & Masters, 1986). As these examples illustrate, the specic reasons why people are ostracized may dier across cultures; however, there is reason to believe that the patterns used to ostracize people are similar. By distancing themselves from those

who pose a burden to the group or who do not comply with its norms, human groups protect and strengthen the collective-and in turn the survival of the group may become more likely (e.g., Boehm, 1986; Wesselmann, Wirth, Pryor, Reeder, & Williams, 2013).