Xiaolu Zhang, PhD

Wächtergasse 1
1010 Wien
Room: 504

Research Areas

I’m interested in the psychology of guilt. To uncover the fundamental insights about the nature of guilt, I focused on the relation between guilt and regret in different contexts and examined the relation between guilt and being self-interest. I also explored motivations of sharing guilt with others. I ground my research in behavioral experiments with diverse populations and embrace principles of open science: I publicly post my data and pre-register my experiments. Together, my research integrates theoretical frameworks from different literatures and rigorous methods to better understand the emotion of guilt. Another line of my work is focusing on the emotion feelings of first-generation students, and how these emotions influence their daily achievement activities.


Zhang, X., Zeelenberg, M., Summerville, A., & Breugelmans, S.M. (2021). The role of self-discrepancies in distinguishing regret from guilt. Self and Identity, 20, 388-405. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2020.1721316 

Zhang, X., Zeelenberg, M., Breugelmans, S.M. (2021). Anticipated guilt and going against one’s self-interest. Emotion. 21, 1417-1426https://doi.org/10.1037/emo0001032

Curriculum Vitae