Information on research topics
and research ressources at the LFE

Hurt Feelings and Sulking Behavior

Hurt feelings are a painful, but hardly avoidable aspect of our social interactions. Probably, they have a very important function: they indicate that we feel not appropriately treated by someone else and could therefore function to avoid exploitation in cooperative relationships. Presumably it is unique to humans.

This project is concerned with describing and explaining the emotion of hurt feelings and the emotional behavior of sulking and their developmental trajectories. Therefore hurt feelings are generally defined and distinguished from other emotions.

The central question in this project is how this emotion and the corresponding emotional behavior of sulking develops. We use observational and experimental methods. For the first time nonverbal and behavioral measures are used in the study of hurt feelings, which will allow us to answer questions of the first emergence, the role of familiarity and sympathy, as well as dominance in the elicitation of hurt feelings and sulking.

M.A. David Hardecker
Hurt Feelings and Sulking Behavior
Prof. Dr. Daniel Haun
Director || Head of Department
  • Mills, R. S., Nazar, J., & Farrell, H. M. (2002). Child and parent perceptions of hurtful messages. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19(6), 731-754.
  • Leary, M. R., Springer, C., Negel, L., Ansell, E., & Evans, K. (1998). The causes, phenomenology, and consequences of hurt feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74(5), 1225.