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Nicolay Gausel

Nicolay Gausel

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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.

Primary Interests:

  • 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:

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Journal Articles:

Other Publications:

Courses Taught:

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods and Statistics
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Social Emotions

Nicolay Gausel
Østfold University College
K.G. Meldahlsvei 9
1671 Kråkerøy

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