Embarrassability Scale (ES)
1. Suppose you were just beginning a talk in front of a class.
2. Suppose you slipped and fell on a wet floor in a public place‚ dropping a bag of groceries.
3. Suppose you were a dinner guest‚ and the guest seated next to you spilled his plate on his lap while trying to cut his meat.
4. Suppose someone stopped you on the street by asking you something‚ and he turned out to be quite drunk and incoherent.
5. Suppose a group of friends were singing “Happy Birthday” to you.
6. Suppose you discovered you were the only person at a particular social occasion without a dress (or coat and tie –i.e. you are informally dressed).
7. Suppose you were watching an amateur show and one of the performers was trying to do a comedy act‚ but was unable to make anyone laugh.
8. Suppose you were calling up a person you had just met for the first time in order to ask him or her for a date.
9. Suppose you were muttering aloud to yourself in an apparently empty room and discovered that someone else was present.
10.Suppose you walked into a bathroom at someone else’s house and discovered it was occupied by a member of the opposite sex.
11.Suppose you were watching a play from the audience when it suddenly became clear that one of the actors had forgotten her lines‚ causing the play to come to a standstill.
12.Suppose you are unable to stop coughing while listening to a lecture.
13.Suppose you were being lavishly complimented on your pleasant personality by your companion on your first date.
14.Suppose you were in a class and you noticed that the teacher had completely neglected to zip his fly.
15.Suppose you entered an apparently empty classroom‚ turned on the lights‚ and surprised a couple making out.
16.Suppose you were talking to a stranger who stuttered badly due to a speech impediment.
17.Suppose your mother had come to visit you and was accompanying you to all your classes.
18.Suppose you were a dinner guest and could not eat the main course because you were allergic to it.
19.Suppose you were alone in an elevator with a professor who had just given you a bad test grade.
20.Suppose a shabbily dressed man accosted you on the street and asked you for a handout.
21.Suppose you were walking into a room full of people you did not know and were being introduced to the whole group.
22.Suppose you tripped and fell while entering a bus full of people.
23.Suppose you were opening some presents while the people who bought them for you were sitting around watching.
24.Suppose you asked someone on crutches if he had suffered a skiing accident and he blushed and replied that‚ no‚ he was crippled by polio when he was a child.
25.Suppose you had forgotten an appointment with a professor‚ and remembered it as you met him in the hall the next day.
26.Suppose you were talking in a small group that included a blind student‚ when someone next to him unthinkingly made a remark about someone being “blind as a bat.”
Adopted by Trevor Thompson
2. You slip and fall on a patch of ice in a public place‚ dropping a package of groceries. (PE)
3. You are a dinner guest‚ and the guest seated next to you spills his plate in his lap whilst trying to cut some meat (VE)
5. A group of friends is singing happy birthday to you
6. You discover you are the only person at a social occasion without formal dress. (PE)
7. You are watching an amateur show and one of the performers is trying to do a comedy act but is unable to make anybody laugh (VE)
8. You are calling someone you have just met for the first time in order to arrange a date (PE)
9. You are muttering aloud to yourself in an apparently empty room when you discover someone else is there (PE)
10. You walk into a bathroom at someone else's house to discover that it is occupied by a member of the opposite sex (PE)
11. You are watching a play when it suddenly becomes clear that one of the actors has forgotten his lines‚ causing the play to come to a halt (VE)
13. You are being lavishly complimented by your companion on your first date
14. You notice that your teacher has forgotten to do up his fly (VE)
15. You enter an apparently empty classroom‚ turn on the lights‚ and surprise a couple necking (PE)
16. You are talking to a stranger who stutters badly due to a speech impediment (VE)
18. You are a dinner guest and cannot eat the main course because you are allergic to it (PE)
19. You are alone in a lift with your professor/boss who has just given you a bad grade/reference
21. You walk into a room full of people you do not know‚ and are introduced to the whole group (PE)
22. You trip and fall while entering a bus full of people (PE)
23. You are opening some presents while the people who have given them to you are watching (PE)
24. You ask someone on crutches if they have had a skiing accident and they reply that they were crippled by polio as a child (PE)
25. You have forgotten an appointment with your boss and run into them the next day
26. You are talking in a small group which includes a blind person‚ when someone makes a remark about everyone being "blind as a bat" (VE) (PE) ‘personal embarrassability’factor and (VE) ‘vicarious embarrassability’ factor
Not at all‚ Slightly‚ Fairly‚ Quite‚ Strongly
1 = I would not feel the least embarrassed: not awkward or uncomfortable at all.
2 = I would feel slightly embarrassed.
3 = I would feel fairly embarrassed: somewhat self-conscious‚ and rather awkward and uncomfortable.
4 = I would feel quite embarrassed.
5 = I would feel strongly embarrassed: extremely self-conscious‚ awkward and uncomfortable.
Modigliani‚ A. (1968). Embarrassment and embarrassability. Sociometry‚ 31: 313-326.
Miller‚ R. S. (1987) The nature of embarrassability; Correlates and sex differences. Unpublished Manuscript‚ Sam Houston State University‚Huntsville‚ Texas.
Miller‚ R. S. (1987). The nature of embarrassability: Correlates and sex differences. Unpublished manuscript.
Kelly‚ K. (1994). The structure and personality correlates of the Embarrassability Scale. Paper Presented at the Conference of the Society ofSoutheastern Social Psychologists‚ Winston-Salem‚ NC.
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Singelis‚ T.M.‚ Bond‚ M.‚ Sharkey‚ W.‚ & Lai‚ C. (1999). Unpackaging Culture’s Influence on Self-‐Esteem and Embarrassability: The Role of Self-Construals. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology‚ 30: 315-‐341.
Cupach‚ W. R.‚ Huggins‚ J.‚ Long‚ L. W.‚ & Metts‚ S. (2002) Perceptions of impropriety; the role of embarrassability and perceiver sex. Paper presented atWestern States Communication Association‚ Long Beach‚ CA.
Withers‚ L. A.‚ & Vernon‚ L. L. (2006). To err is human: Embarrassment‚ attachment‚ and communication apprehension. Personality and individual differences‚ 40‚ 99-110.
Thompson‚ Trevor. (2014). Personal and Vicarious Embarrassability Common and Unique Personality Correlates .Journal of Individual Differences‚ 35: 22-29