Kipling D. Williams



Back to Home Page Click here for media reports on Cyberball paradigm used in Science article by Eisenberger, Lieberman, & Williams (2003).


I am very pleased to announce a very much improved Cyberball 4.0.

The development of this new version was accomplished by David Yeager, now at the University of Texas.

Cyberball 4.0 will work on PCs and Macs, including the newest operating systems.

Cyberball 4.0 can also be used on iPhones, iPads, and other smart phones and tablets.It has the capability of doing everything the earlier versions did, and more.

Cyberball 4.0...

... allows for true Internet research.

... has an option for a chat room.

The participant can click anywhere near the other players to indicate where the ball should be tossed.

There will be (in the near future) options for up to 9 players! (right now, it has options for 3 or 4 players)

More templates (like "spectate" that allows participants to simply watch a Cyberball game without being a player in it).

A more complete users manual.

This new version is currently a beta version, and we invite you to try it out, ask questions, and give us feedback.

You can download Cyberball and find out more about it by going to the Cyberball Wiki Page


History of Cyberball and Previous Versions

For previous versions (v. 1, 2, and 3), I would like to thank the University of New South Wales School of Psychology, Macquarie University's Department of Psychology, and Purdue University's Department of Psychological Sciences, the Australian Research Council, and the National Science Foundation for their assistance in funding Cyberball updates.

Cyberball is a virtual ball-toss game that can be used for research on ostracism, social exclusion, or rejection. It has also been used to study discrimination and prejudice (in these instances, Cyberball ball toss choices are used as Dependent Variable). A current list of publications thathave used Cyberball can be found here.

Cyberball was originally developed by Christopher Cheung and Wilma Choi as part of their honours theses under the supervision of Kip Williams, and resulted in the following publication:

     Williams, K. D., Cheung, C. K. T., & Choi, W. (2000). CyberOstracism: Effects of being ignored over the Internet. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 748-762.

In that article, we investigated the effects of ostracism on four fundamental needs (belonging, control, self-esteem, and meaningful existence
), and mood, and on subsequent conformity levels.

Subequently, upgraded versions were developed by Blair Jarvis of Empirisoft (, and is described in this article:

     Williams, K. D., & Jarvis, B. (2006). Cyberball: A program for use in research on ostracism and interpersonal acceptance. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 38, 174-180.

Cyberball ball-toss game is a virtual analogue to the face-to-face ball-toss game employed in the following articles:

Warburton, W. A., Williams, K. D., & Cairns, D. R. (2006). When ostracism leads to aggression: The moderating effects of control deprivation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 213-220.

Williams, K. D., & Sommer, K. L. (1997). Social ostracism by one’s coworkers: Does rejection lead to loafing or compensation? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 693-706.

These earlier versions of Cyberball were fairly flexible. They could be programmed to employ 3 or 4 person ball tossing, with or without names or labels, and with or without pictures (these latter variables are good for ingroup/outgroup manipulations). Ostracism could occur immediately or after any number of throws. You could determine the number of throws, whether the participant was included, ostracized, included by some but not others, etc. The Cyberball program also logged each throw, how long it took to decide, and to whom it was thrown.

For these earlier versions, data are collected on the computer on Excel files that you can paste into SPSS or other statistical programs.

Cyberball 1.0-3.0 stands alone and is not an Internet game, although it appears to be. Participants can only play the game from the computer on which it is downloaded but it has the appearance of an Internet browser. Thus, participants can be led to believe that they are playing with other people in the same lab, at other universities, or from anywhere in the world.

Warning: If using a PC, you need to have Internet Explorer 6.0 (or earlier version). If you do not have this old version, you may download it by going to this link: IE6.0. These versions also operate only on systems prior to Windows 7.Be sure to turn off automatic upgrades while using this version for your research. For Macs, Cyberball 3.0 works only on systems prior to Snow Leopard.

If you have newer operating systems, then please use Cyberball 4.0 (see top of page).

Access to Previous Versions:

Download here for Cyberball v.1 (the typical one used for short-term between-S manipulations, PC only).

Download here for Cyberball v.2 (especially useful for within-S manipulations across longer time periods, PC only).

Download here for Cyberball v.3 (the current version, available for both PC and Mac platforms).

Comments or questions are welcome.

Published articles using Cyberball

last updated - January 10, 2012