The aim of my research is to provide a foundation of research-based knowledge of how we deal with the things we find difficult in our lives, so I, and we, can better help each other. This basically means that I am interested in how we deal with the mistakes we do. That is, how do we appraise them? How do we feel about them? And what do we do to cope with them?
Hence, my core interest is placed in how a "concern for self-image" (i.e., how is this affecting me) and a "concern for social-image" (i.e., how is this affecting how other people think of me) - see Gausel & Leach (2011) - elicit different feelings and different coping strategies. Typically, when it comes to self-critical feelings, these two appraisals elicit feelings of shame, feelings of inferiority and feelings of rejection (besides of other negative feelings such as anger). Specifically, we see that a "concern for self-image" often elicit felt shame, while a "concern for social-image" often elicit felt rejection. These two feelings (sometimes in conjunction with the appraisals) motivate distinct ways to cope with the situations. Pro-social coping-strategies such as a desire to offer restitution, to repair and communicate contrition often follow felt shame, while self-defensive (avoidance, cover-up) and aggressive responses often follow felt rejection (see Gausel, Leach, Vignoles & Brown, 2012). This means that the model that I, Colin and Viv have developed (see Gausel & Leach, 2011) can actually help us understand when and why people go into self-defensive and aggressive motivation, and when they go into pro-social motivation (for a careful description of when and why, see Gausel, 2013).
Other than that, I am involved in projects focusing on intergroup anxiety (with West, Cakal and Turner), reconciliation (with Mazziotta, Feuchte, Nadler and Leach), stigmatization of unemployed people (with Bourguignon and Herman), social consequences of school drop out (with Bourguignon), hedonism vs moral integrity on desire-fulfillment (with Salthe), trust (with Vasiljevic and Goyle), bullying, stigmatization of mental illness (with Thørrisen), measurement and semantics (with Salthe), denied shame (with Vignoles and Leach), negative and positive consequences of identification (with Berndsen), the use of adjectives, acceptance and communication, cross-cultural issues (with Cakal), forgiveness (with Mazziotta and Feuchte), differences between shame and guilt (with Brown), contextualism (with a bunch of people but Vignoles invited me), supervision styles and self-image, moral dilemmas (with Salthe), communication and the social bond (with Løkkeberg and Giner-Sorolla), subjective experiences concerning minorities (with Ringnes), rage (with Leach and Vignoles).
I also have the privilege of supervising two PhD-candidates: Stine Torp Løkkeberg (joint supervision) and Hege Kristin Ringnes (co-supervision).
In conclusion, I love doing research and I hope the research we do can be of help to you or someone you know.
- Aggression, Conflict, Peace
- Applied Social Psychology
- Close Relationships
- Emotion, Mood, Affect
- Ethics and Morality
- Helping, Prosocial Behavior
- Intergroup Relations
- Interpersonal Processes
- Personality, Individual Differences
- Research Methods, Assessment
- Self and Identity
- Social Cognition
Research Group or Laboratory:
- Centre for Emotion Research
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- Berndsen, M & Gausel, N. (2015). When majority members exclude ethnic minorities: The impact of shame on the desire to object to immoral acts. European Journal of Social Psychology.
- Gausel, N. (2014). It’s not our fault! Explaining why families might blame the school for failure to complete a high-school education. Social Psychology of Education, 17, 609-616.
- Gausel, N. (2012). Facing in-group immorality: Differentiating expressed shame from expressed guilt. Review of European Studies, 4, 1-7.
- Gausel, N. (2011). The importance of emotions in social work: Thematic directions from a national conference. European Journal of Social Work, 14, 287-291.
- Gausel, N., & Brown, R. (2012). Shame and guilt--do they really differ in their focus of evaluation? Wanting to change the self and behavior in response to ingroup immorality. The Journal of Social Psychology, 152, 1-20.
- Gausel, N., & Leach, C. W. (2011). Concern for self-image and social-image in the management of moral failure: Rethinking shame. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 468-478.
- Gausel, N., Leach, C. W., Vignoles, V. L., & Brown, R. (2012). Defend or repair? Explaining responses to in-group moral failure by disentangling feelings of shame, rejection, and inferiority. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102, 941-960.
- Gausel, N. & Salthe, G. (2014). Assessing natural language: Measuring emotion-words within a sentence or without a sentence? Review of European Studies, 6, 127-132.
- Gausel, N., & Thørrisen, M. M. (2014). A theoretical model of multiple stigma: Ostracized for being an inmate with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 15, 89-95.
- Gausel, N., Vignoles, V. L., & Leach, C. W. (2015). Resolving the paradox of shame: Differentiating among specific appraisal-feeling combinations explain pro-social and self-defensive motivation. Motivation and Emotion.
- Mazziotta, A., Feuchte, F., Gausel, N., & Nadler, A. (2014). Does remembering past ingroup perpetration promote postwar cross-group contact? Insights from a field-experiment in Liberia. European Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 43-52.
- Owe, E., Vignoles, V. L., Becker, M., Brown, R., Smith, P. B., (…) Gausel, N., (…) & Jalal, B. (2013). Contextualism as an important facet of individualism-collectivism: Personhood beliefs across 37 national groups. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 1, 24-45.
- Salthe, G. & Gausel, N. (2014). Wise desire-priorities: Hedonism or moral integrity? Review of European Studies, 6, 109-120.
- Gausel, N. (2013). Self-reform or self-defense? Understanding how people cope with their moral failures by understanding how they appraise and feel about their moral failures. In M. Moshe & N. Corbu (Eds.), Walk of shame (pp. 191-208). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Publishers.
- Gausel, N. (2014). What Does “I Feel Ashamed” Mean? Avoiding the Pitfall of Definition by Understanding Subjective Emotion Language. In K. G. Lockhart. (Ed.). Psychology of Shame: New Research. (pp. 157-166).Hauppauge, NY, USA: Nova Publishers.
- Gausel, N. (2014). Social work as a profession: Made insecure by its own history and Abraham Flexner? In E.N. Arnold. (Ed.) Social Work Practices: Global Perspectives, Challenges and Educational Implications. (pp. 1–8). Hauppauge, NY, USA: Nova Publishers
- Advanced Quantitative Methods and Statistics
- Introduction to Psychology
- Social Emotions
Østfold University College
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- Skype Name: nicolaygausel