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ERIC Number: ED334531
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Predicting Susceptibility to Embarrassment: Social Skill versus Social-Esteem.
Kerschenbaum, Nancy J.; Miller, Rowland S.
The precise events that cause embarrassability (a chronic susceptibility to embarrassment) have yet to be fully understood. Some theorists argue that embarrassing circumstances cause an acute concern for the manner in which one is being evaluated by others. Other theorists argue that maladroit interaction is the only necessary cause of embarrassment. College students (N=310) provided extensive self-reports of social skill, fear of negative evaluation, self-esteem, self-consciousness, shyness, and negative affectivity. Embarrassability was substantially, positively correlated with fear of negative evaluation, motive to avoid exclusion, and approval motivation. In general, the greater one's concern was about disapproval and rejection from others, the greater one's desire was to be liked and accepted by others, and the greater one's susceptibility was to embarrassment. Generalized concerns for social-esteem were clearly related to embarrassability. However, a global measure of social skill was entirely unrelated to embarrassability. Skill at adept interaction was linked to embarrassability as well. This result clearly supports an awkward interaction model. Highly embarrassable people are particularly concerned with doing the right thing, but are less confident that they can do it, than are people who are less embarrassable. Altogether, however, concerns for social-esteem seem the stronger influence on embarrassability. The most effective intervention for ameliorating excessive embarrassability is likely to be one that reduces a person's apprehension about what others are thinking of him or her, rather than one that teaches basic social skill. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (99th, San Francisco, CA, August 16-20, 1991).