21st Steven Karger Prize Awarded to University of Basel Researcher for Work on Social Exclusion in Cyberspace

The Award went to Christiane Büttner, MSc, for her Publication on Social Exclusion on Social media. 

The 21st Steven Karger Prize was awarded on November, 24 2023 by the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Basel during its annual dies academicus ceremony that celebrates the University’s founding in 1460. Christiane Büttner, MSc, received the award for her publication “Why didn’t you tag me?!: Social exclusion from Instagram posts hurts, especially those with a high need to belong” in the journal Computers in Human Behavior

In her work, Christiane Büttner explores the dark side of social media and its impact on user well-being. Together with Selma Rudert, she examines two new forms of social exclusion in social media: being cut off from photos and not being tagged to one’s own profile. In five studies with over 1000 participants, these two previously unstudied forms of ostracism are common and significantly affect the well-being of the users concerned. Short-term social pain can lead to an increased risk of depression, suicidal tendencies and even violence over the long term, as other studies on the consequences of exclusion have shown. Young people in particular, who make up the majority of social media users, are susceptible to the negative consequences of octracism. 
Büttner’s article presents new ideas while drawing on proven methods by laying the foundation for further research in the context of social media. At the same time, her highly topical work contributes to social discourse and effectively bridges the gap between basic social psychological research and practice, which is reflected in the positive media response to her research.

“I am deeply honored to have been awarded the Steven Karger Prize. It has motivated me even more to dedicate my work to addressing relevant societal problems. It is my hope to continue this research to deepen our understanding of social exclusion,” says Christiane Büttner, the winner of the Steven Karger Prize. 

“For Karger Publishers, the promotion and support of young scientists is an important mission. Karger Publishers has been donating the prize that has been awarded by the Faculty of Psychology since 2003. Since 2008, this award has been dedicated to the memory of my brother, the late CEO Steven Karger,“ states Gabriella Karger, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors at Karger Publishers.

Karger Publishers publishes several scientific journals and book series in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. 

To discover more, watch the interview  with Christiane Büttner.