Negative self-conscious emotions: Appraisals, action tendencies, and labels

Wenting Mu, Howard Berenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The present research focused on negative self-conscious emotions, examining the predictive utility of a set of appraisals and action tendencies as compared to emotion labels. Method: In two studies, participants were asked to recall multiple negative self-conscious emotional experiences, and rate each experience using the appraisals and action tendencies, as well as a set of emotion labels. Results: The data revealed that in each emotional experience, participants are likely to experience multiple appraisals, action tendencies, and negative self-conscious emotions simultaneously. Further, the use of appraisals and action tendencies (as opposed to emotion labels) demonstrated excellent utility in predicting a variety of outcomes indicative of psychopathology and psychological well-being (i.e., depression, social anxiety, meanness, relationship quality). Discussion: Implications for the conceptualization and assessment of negative self-conscious emotions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-139
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • Action tendencies
  • Appraisals
  • Guilt
  • Negative self-conscious emotions
  • Shame

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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