Embarrassment: Poise and Peril in Everyday Life

Overview

Embarrassment is a complex and uniquely human emotion that plays a pervasive role in social motivation and interaction. Illuminating its causes and consequences, this engaging volume examines the personal, situational, and interactive determinants of embarrassment, integrating literature from clinical and social psychology, sociology, communications, biology, and other fields. The book is peppered with lively anecdotes and enriched by the most up-to-date findings, including data from the author's own research. ...
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Overview

Embarrassment is a complex and uniquely human emotion that plays a pervasive role in social motivation and interaction. Illuminating its causes and consequences, this engaging volume examines the personal, situational, and interactive determinants of embarrassment, integrating literature from clinical and social psychology, sociology, communications, biology, and other fields. The book is peppered with lively anecdotes and enriched by the most up-to-date findings, including data from the author's own research. From the evolutionary significance of embarrassment to coping with chronic blushing, Rowland S. Miller highlights important recent discoveries and offers revealing insights into a key aspect of our social lives.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A comprehensive, integrative review of the literature on embarrassment....It is beautifully written and draws upon anecdotal evidence as well as empirical findings to support its points. The style is always accessible and often humorous. It will be valuable to researchers, clinicians, teachers, and students across a wide range of social psychology. It should be read by anyone with an interest in the psychology of emotion....Miller has been highly successful in bringing order to the speculative, theoretical, and empirical literatures on embarrassment." --Cognition and Emotion

"An exemplary study of an emotion that has occupied the intellect of novelists, social scientists, and clinicians alike. Its scholarship ranges across disciplines. It offers the reader illuminating examples of testing theories and issues in measurement and techniques for reducing or controlling embarrassment for those individuals who are painfully prone to the emotion." --Contemporary Psychology

"Rich with anecdotal material....A well-written book that will be helpful to the general clinician." --Readings

"Delightfully written and extremely informative....A superb book on an important topic central to the study of social psychology. No library can afford to be without it." --Choice

"The average person likely regards embarrassment as an unnecessary nuisance, and behavioral researchers have viewed it as little more than a curiosity. Yet, after reading Embarrassment: Poise and Peril in Everyday Life, one is convinced not only that embarrassment is important in human affairs, but that it is essential for personal and social well-being. With exceptional clarity and style, Miller probes the psychological and interpersonal underpinnings of embarrassment, and explores its far-reaching implications for human behavior. With this volume as the capstone of two decades of involvement in this area of investigation, Miller has emerged as the leading authority on embarrassment. Professional and lay readers alike will be rewarded by his expertise and will come away with a new appreciation for their own pangs of embarrassment." --Mark R. Leary, Ph.D., Wake Forest University

"This excellent book provides a timely update and overview of the rapidly expanding psychological literature dealing with all aspects of embarrassment in everyday life. The organization of the book is admirable, beginning with a discussion of the nature of embarrassment and the eliciting circumstances and concluding with an evaluation of reactions to, and strategies for dealing with, experienced embarrassment. It is a masterful text, leading the reader through the many ways in which embarrassment disrupts, intrudes into, controls and even, in some instances, serves to lighten our everyday interactions. As well as being an authoritative and comprehensive review of the literature the author excites interest by providing insightful comments and reflections. In addition, the book contains many enjoyable examples, is well written, up-to-date, and informative. I am delighted to have in on my bookshelf." --Robert J. Edelmann, Bsc, MPhil, Ph.D., CPsychol, FBPsS, Reader in Clinical Psychology, University of Surrey, UK

"Rowland Miller's Embarrassment is a tour de force. This extraordinary book is as rich in its comprehensive review of the scholarly literature, as it is in its compelling illustrations of how embarrassment functions in everyday life. Miller beautifully integrates diverse lines of theory and research from clinical, social, personality, and developmental psychology--and it's a great read! Brilliant, thought-provoking, and entertaining. This book is a must for any clinician or researcher whose work touches on issues of embarrassment. And it's an education and a delight for anyone who has experienced the flush of embarrassment in the course of day-to-day life." --June Price Tangney, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, George Mason University

Personal Relationship Issues

"A book that integrates research findings from various disciplines, walks a reader through the theoretical and methodological issues underlying the research, and does so in a most interesting way....It can serve as a springboard for additional research as easily as it serves as a classroom textbook."--Personal Relationship Issues
Booknews
Illuminates the personal, situational, and interactive determinants of embarrassment, drawing on literature from clinical and social psychology, sociology, communications, and biology. Explores issues such as the evolutionary significance of embarrassment, the differences between embarrassment and other emotions, and the personal characteristics that make people more or less susceptible to embarrassment. Of interest to researchers, students, and professionals in psychology and communication studies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572302471
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Series: Emotions And Social Behavior
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.96 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author


Rowland S. Miller, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. In addition to embarrassment, he studies the processes that maintain happy relationships (and so is generally concerned with people coexisting peaceably and well). He is a past recipient of the Newman Award for Excellence in Research from the American Psychological Association and Psi Chi. This is his second book.
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Table of Contents


1. The Nature of Embarrassment
2. Embarrassment as a Basic Emotion
3. Embarrassing Circumstances
4. A Catalogue of Embarrassments
5. The Development of Embarrassment
6. Personality and Culture
7. The Causes of Embarrassment
8. Signs of Embarrassment
9. Responses to Embarrassment
10. Overcoming Embarrassment
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