pcem_a_2126441_sm4932.docx (92.71 kB)

(Eye-)tracking the escape from the self: guilt proneness moderates the effect of failure on self-avoidance

Download (92.71 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-10-01, 13:00 authored by Jean Monéger, Armand Chatard, Leila Selimbegović

Failure increases the motivation to escape self-awareness. To date, however, the role of self-conscious emotions (shame and guilt) in triggering escape responses after failure has not been sufficiently addressed. In this pre-registered study (N = 156 undergraduates), we adapted a classic paradigm (avoidance of one’s image in a mirror) to a modern eye-tracking technology to test the hypothesis that shame proneness moderates the effect of failure on self-awareness avoidance. Individual differences in guilt and shame proneness were assessed before priming thoughts of failure or success. Then, an eye-tracking paradigm was used to monitor gaze avoidance of one’s screen-reflected face during a neutral, unrelated task. Unexpectedly, results showed that guilt but not shame proneness exacerbated self-avoidance after failure. The present findings challenge the dominant view that shame fosters avoidance more so than guilt.


The author(s) reported there is no funding associated with the work featured in this article.