Date of Submission

Spring 2016

Academic Programs and Concentrations


Project Advisor 1

Justin Hulbert

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Shame is the product of a complex set of negative consequences whereby a person

exhibiting the emotion Shame experiences a wish to hide, disappear, or die, thus

implicating the presence of other people. Pride, on the other hand, is a consequence of

the successful evaluation of a specific action where the experience is joy over an action,

thought, or feeling well done. The role of Shame is thought to be intrinsic to hypersexual

behaviors and fuels sexually compulsive behaviors. Specifically, past literature suggests

that sexual behaviors in sexually compulsive individuals function primarily to offer relief

from negative emotional states. This paper explores an interest in whether or not

situationally inducing the emotion Pride decreases the response time to sexually explicit

words in an emotional Stroop task, in comparison to situationally inducing Shame. I

hypothesized that, based on the past literature, if the emotion Shame seems to induce

hypersexuality, participants who have been placed in the Shame condition will require

longer processing and will respond slower to the Sexual words than those in the Pride

condition. A total of 49 heterosexual students from Bard College participated in this

study. Measures included: a manipulation task (inducing the emotion Pride or Shame),

State Shame & Guilt Scale (manipulation check), emotional Stroop task, and a Sexual

Compulsivity Scale. The results suggested that the Shame manipulation created more

interference in the Stroop task than the Pride manipulation, thus increasing response

times to Sexual words in the emotional Stroop task. These results contribute to the

literature and could be beneficial in developing better treatment options for sexual


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