Guilt And Shame: A Literature Review

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The theories of Guilt and shame: a literature review As early as from the early 1940’s in the anthropological as well as in the cross-cultural literature much attention has been paid to the theories as well as the implication of emotions in different aspects of life. From many of the research findings as well as from many of the studies conducted during the past years in this topics we can understand that the cultural variation and the behaviour of individuals affect the perception emotions such as guilt and shame and the consequences in a society. Here we are going to review and analyse two articles we found on the theories of guilt and shame and how these emotions can affect the outcome of a corporate public apology these days. The first…show more content…
The authors states that the mainstream emotional researches have distinguished between Guilt and shame. This model argues that both the emotions differ in the origin of transgression. Authors argues that when people attribute their transgressions to their global and stable self, the y experience shame but when people attribute their transgressions to transient actions they experience guilt. Thus shame is often viewed as more devastating to people’s self-concepts and self-esteem than guilt. Some scholars argue that shame typically involves being negatively evaluated by others and guilt involves being negatively evaluated by oneself. Many associate shame with exposing one’s defective self to others thus having an external orientation and whereas guilt is associated with the fear of not living up to one’s own standards and having an internal orientation. In conclusion in the dominant models of guilt and shame, guilt leads to reparative action whereas shame does not. The authors points out to the examples in the US contexts. They argue that experiencing guilt leads to higher self-esteem and increases in empathy and perspective taking. Shame prone individuals are more likely to engage in avoidance and withdrawal, to experience inward anger, and to blame others than are guilt prone…show more content…
First they state that more research is needed to differentiate among various types of shame and guilt observed in different cultural settings. Secondly they argue that more researches are needed to prove that the differences in the valuation, view, behaviour, consequences of guilt and shame in collectivistic as well as in the individualistic cultures described by many scholars are in fact due to the difference in the concept of self in these cultures. Thirdly they suggest that more studies are needed to measure the physiological and behavioural components of shame and guilt. Forth suggestion they put forward is that future research should examine the development of shame and guilt across cultural contexts. Fifth suggestion is that because within each culture there exists variation in models of shame and guilt and future research is needed to test this hypothesis. Final suggestion that the authors put forwards is that more researches and studies are needed to provide theories of shame and guilt that incorporates cultural factors and provides understanding on the evolutionary and sociocultural influences on
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