Shame has been found to promote both approach and withdrawal behaviours. Shame theories have not been able to explain how shame can promote such contrasting behaviours. In the present article, the authors provide an explanation for this. Shame was hypothesised to activate approach behaviours to restore the threatened self, and in situations when this is not possible or too risky, to activate withdrawal behaviours to protect the self from further damage. Five studies with different shame inductions and different dependent measures confirmed our predictions. We therefore showed that different behavioural responses to shame can be understood in terms of restore and protect motives. Implications for theory and behavioural research on shame are discussed.

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Cognition and Emotion
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

de Hooge, I., Zeelenberg, M., & Breugelmans, S. (2010). Restore and protect motivations following shame. Cognition and Emotion (Vol. 24, pp. 111–127). doi:10.1080/02699930802584466