"Embarrassment is one emotional signature of a person to whom you can entrust valuable resources. It's part of the social glue that fosters trust and cooperation in everyday life," said UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer.
Distinct from Shame: The moderate type of embarrassment they examined should not be confused with debilitating social anxiety or with "shame," which is associated in the psychology literature with such moral transgressions as being caught cheating. While the most typical gesture of embarrassment is a downward gaze to one side while partially covering the face and either smirking or grimacing, a person who feels shame, as distinguished from embarrassment, will typically cover the whole face, Feinberg said.
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|Psychologist Dacher Keltner, a coauthor of the study, |
demonstrates a typical gesture of embarrassment.