Hazing News

Dissertation findings: acts of humiliation like hazing can drive people away from one another

Here is the link to research


Title On feeling humiliated : The experience of humiliation in interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup contexts
Author Mann, L.
Thesis advisor Doosje, Bertjan; Fischer, Agneta; Feddes, Allard
Publisher FMG
Date 2017
Language English


Abstract Humiliation is an intensely negative and complex emotion. This dissertation focused on the determinants, strength, emotion relations, and consequences of feelings of humiliation in different contexts. In an interpersonal context (Chapter 2), we found that negative audience behaviour (laughter) during a humiliating episode increased reported humiliation. At the same time, positive audience behaviour (social support) did not decrease humiliation. In Chapter 3 we studied humiliation during initiation rituals in student fraternities. Contrary to the often assumed affiliative function of degrading practices (i.e., hazing) during such rituals, we found evidence that humiliation during initiations leads to more distance between group members. In an intergroup context (Chapter 4), we showed that reported humiliation caused by a defeat of the in-group predicted aggressive action tendencies towards an out-group that was not involved in the humiliating defeat. We also found evidence indicating that people who strongly glorify their in-group are more prone to feel humiliated about a past defeat of their in-group. This humiliation, in turn, predicts feelings of hate towards an out-group and an inclination to respond aggressively towards this out-group. Taken together the studies in this dissertation show that humiliation is an emotion that is particularly prone to reinforcement by other people’s negative behaviour and, at the same time, has strong potential to evoke antisocial behaviour in the victim toward others. Thus, unlike other negative emotions, humiliation is clearly dysfunctional when it comes to the formation and maintenance of good relationships, whether this is between individuals, within a group or between groups.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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