Sören Krach

A psychological perspective on vicarious embarrassment and shame in the context of cringe humor

Abstract Cringe humor combines the seemingly opposite emotional experiences of amusement and embarrassment due to others’ transgressions of norms. Psychological theories and empirical studies on these emotional reactions in response to others’ transgressions of social norms have mostly focused on embarrassment and shame. Here, we build on this literature, aiming to present a novel perspective …

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Editorial: The Different Faces of Sickness

Editorial on the Research Topic: The Different Faces of Sickness   Sickness not only includes symptoms that classically define an infection (e.g., fever, nausea, headache), but also comes along with profound neurobehavioral consequences for the infected individual. These include anhedonia, anorexia, pain, lethargy, fatigue, sleepiness, and social withdrawal, and are collectively called “sickness behavior” (1). …

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Reduced frontal cortical tracking of conflict between self-beneficial versus prosocial motives in Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Abstract Abstract Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) entails severe impairments in interpersonal functioning that are likely driven by self-beneficial and exploitative behavior. Here, we investigate the underlying motivational and neural mechanisms of prosocial decision-making by experimentally manipulating motivational conflict between self- beneficial and prosocial incentives. One group of patients diagnosed with NPD and a group of …

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New publication on Neural processing in Narcissistic Personality Disorder out in NeuroImage: Clinical!

Reduced Frontal Cortical Tracking of Conflict between Self-Beneficial versus Prosocial Motives in Narcissistic Personality Disorder   Thanks to the great collaboration with Stefan Roepke and Aline Vater at the Universitätsmedizin Charité as well as Björn Schott at the Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology in Magdeburg we are happy to announce the publication of our first paper …

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Self-beneficial belief updating as a coping mechanism for stress-induced negative affect

Abstract Being confronted with social-evaluative stress elicits a physiological and a psychological stress response. This calls for regulatory processes to manage negative affect and maintain self-related optimistic beliefs. The aim of the current study was to investigate the affect-regulating potential of self-related updating of ability beliefs after exposure to social-evaluative stress, in comparison to non-social …

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New publication on self-related learning processes out in Scientific Reports!

Self-beneficial belief updating as a coping mechanism for stress-induced negative affect.   Very cool new computational modeling paper by Nora Czekalla et al. on how stress/affect are better recovered depending on the way people integrate novel information about themselves into their self-concept. With this new data we replicate and extend earlier findings of a negativity …

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Geist & Gehirn covers “Science of cringe”

In two Spektrum der Wissenschaft (Geist & Gehirn) articles research from our group on cringe and embarrassment were covered.  First, in edition 06/2021 Frieder M. Paulus and Annalina Mayer explain why people experience embarrassment on behalf of (unrelated) others. Second, in edition 09/2021 there is an in-depth review of research on the emotion of (vicarious) …

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Perceived Risk of Infection Linked to Changes in Comfort in Social Situations From Before to During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Background: Social lives have significantly changed since social distancing measures have been implemented to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This study aimed to investigate how our appraisal of social situations changed during the pandemic. Methods: In two online surveys, conducted in October 2019 and April 2020, 58 participants rated their personal level of …

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