A functionalist account of shame induced behaviour

I.E. de Hooge, M. Zeelenberg, S.M. Breugelmans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Recent research has shown that shame activates both a restore and a protect motive (De Hooge, Zeelenberg, & Breugelmans, 2010), explaining the hitherto unexpected finding that shame can lead to both approach and avoidance behaviours. In the present article we show a clear difference in priority and development of restore and protect motives over time. Our experiment reveals that shame mainly motivates approach behaviour to restore the damaged self, but that this restore motive decreases when situational factors make it too risky or difficult to restore. In contrast, the motive to protect one's damaged self from further harm is not influenced by such situational factors. As a consequence, the approach behaviour that shame activates may change over time. These findings add to our understanding of the motivational processes and behaviours following from shame.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-946
JournalCognition and Emotion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • self-esteem
  • guilt
  • emotion

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A functionalist account of shame induced behaviour'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this