Annalina Mayer, PhD student of the Social Neuroscience Lab, speaks at Deutschlandfunk Nova about why shaming will not stop us from showing particular behaviors. Check out the new podcast (only in German)

Alcohol addiction – what is the role of the immune system?

Alkoholabhängigkeit –  Was macht das Immunsystem? Trotz der großen gesellschaftlichen Bedeutung sind die Ursachen für die Entstehung der Alkoholabhängigkeit bisher nur unzureichend verstanden. Ein neuer Forschungsansatz untersucht die Rolle des Immunsystems. Entzündungen im Körper können, wie bei der Depression gezeigt, auch bei Alkoholabhängigkeit bestehen und bei einer Untergruppe von Patienten eine neue Therapiemöglichkeit darstellen. Um …

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Deutschlandfunk Nova – Frieder Paulus explains “Fremdscham”

Why do we feel vicarious embarrassment? Frieder Paulus explores embarrassment on behalf of others at the University of Lübeck, Germany. He says that the main reason for feeling embarrassed is the violation of rules and conventions. Although the feeling of embarrassment itself is not particularly pleasant, it is generally something positive and constructive for the …

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Affective politics: Trump sparks ’embarrassment’ spikes on Twitter

In a joint publication with Michigan State University, Goethe-University Frankfurt and Lübeck University, published at Frontiers in Communication – Political Communication, we show that there has been a 45-percent increase in people tweeting about embarrassment since Donald Trump took office. An analysis of Twitter traffic between June 2015 and June 2017 revealed how platform’s users …

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“The Science of Awkwardness” by VSauce

For anybody who is interested in research on vicarious embarrassment we do recommend to watch this very illustrative and informative Youtube-video. It nicely summarizes the neural mechanisms underlying empathy and how these relate to vicarious emotions such as “Fremdscham”

Why we feel ashamed for close ones

Frieder Paulus explains how social closeness impacts the experience of vicarious embarrassment and why every kind of embarrassment demands an audience. See latest interview at

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