The Self-Conscious Emotions: How are they Experienced, Expressed, and Assessed?



The self-conscious emotions (e.g., embarrassment, guilt, pride, shame) are a special class of emotions that critically involve the self, including the capacity to form stable self-representations and to evaluate oneself relative to internal and external standards. In this article, we summarize five areas of recent research on self-conscious emotions: (a) the cognitive elicitors, or causal appraisals, that generate them; (b) their non-verbal expressions; (c) the underlying neural processes; (d) the degree to which their experience and expression varies across cultures; and (e) the measures that have been developed to assess them. In each section, we provide recommendations for future research directions.