Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Antecedents of shame and guilt in self-control and harm
Author: McGee, Darren Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 8961
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2016
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
There are three main theories of shame and guilt, each of which ascribe differing levels of social content to each emotion: the internal/external view, for example, posits that guilt is more internally located than shame, the act/person views posits the opposite, while the reciprocal/hierarchical view posits that these two emotions are both inherently social. A difficult challenge for these theories is that shame and guilt are both often felt in response to individual self-control failure. Six studies examined the relationship between self-report measures of shame and guilt, and self-control failure (e.g., studying, dieting, and self-nominated goal failure), testing the assumptions of the three aforementioned theoretical distinctions. Overall, the internal/external theory was supported: shame was shown to be less internalised than guilt, which was shown to be characterised by two independent forms of internalised concerns. Remarkably, one of these internalised forms of guilt was characterised by relational concerns: participants, for example, would "feel betrayed" or "cheated" if they failed at their dieting (or other self-selected dilemmas). This hinted at the possibility of a social, albeit distal, form of guilt, that perhaps reflected an internalisation of social relationships. To address this latter idea more directly, three studies examined the social nature of guilt (controlling for shame) in more objectively social contexts, involving harm related concerns. In support of the reciprocal/hierarchical theory, guilt was shown to be associated with interpersonal concerns while shame, consistent with the earlier six studies, was shown to be less internalised and associated with concerns relating to negative social comparisons. In addition to the internal/external and reciprocal/hierarchical theories, some support was also found for the act/person theory. A nested model of shame and guilt was proposed to integrate these apparently disparate theories of shame and guilt: specifically, the internal/external theory was suggested to be a good proximal explanation of shame and guilt in self-control; the act/person theory was suggested to be a good explanation for the outcomes of shame and guilt; and the reciprocal/hierarchical theory was suggested to be a good ultimate explanation of shame and guilt overall.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion