The causes, phenomenology, and consequences of hurt feelings

Journal Article (Journal Article)

One hundred sixty-four participants recounted situations in which their feelings had been hurt (victim accounts) or in which they had hurt another person's feelings (perpetrator accounts) and then completed a questionnaire. Hurt feelings were precipitated by events that connoted relational devaluation, and the victims' distress correlated strongly with feelings of rejection. Victims were typically hurt by people whom they knew well, suggesting that familiarity or closeness played a role. Analyses of the subjective experience revealed that hurt feelings are characterized by undifferentiated negative affect that is often accompanied by emotions such as anxiety and hostility. Victims' responses to the event were related to their attributions for the perpetrators' actions, and hurtful episodes typically had negative repercussions for the relationships between perpetrators and victims. Copyright 1998 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Leary, MR; Springer, C; Negel, L; Ansell, E; Evans, K

Published Date

  • January 1, 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 74 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 1225 - 1237

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3514

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0022-3514.74.5.1225

Citation Source

  • Scopus