The role of shame in motivating support for, and opposition to, intergroup reconciliation: two forms of shame as separate predictors of positive and negative responses to ingroup wrongdoing

Allpress, Jesse A (2012) The role of shame in motivating support for, and opposition to, intergroup reconciliation: two forms of shame as separate predictors of positive and negative responses to ingroup wrongdoing. Doctoral thesis (DPhil), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis deals with how group members respond to wrongdoing committed in their
group's name. In particular, I investigate whether individuals feel ashamed or guilty for
these acts, and in turn, what motivational effects these emotions have. A review of the
literature on shame and guilt turns up serious inconsistencies regarding both the charac-
terisation of these emotions and the empirical evidence relating to them. In particular,
shame is found to be related to both prosocial and antisocial outcomes, and guilt is some-
times associated with prosocial acts and sometimes not. My empirical work tests an
explanation for these inconsistencies. Notably, I test a novel way of seeing shame, and
propose that not only are there different forms of shame but that these different forms have
divergent motivational effects. I focus on two important forms of shame: moral shame
and image shame, which arise when one sees the ingroup's actions as threatening one's
morality or reputation, respectively. I show that moral shame is consistently related to
increased prosocial attitudes (support for apology and compensation) and decreased an-
ger, avoidance and cover-up; whereas image shame is predictive of higher levels of anger,
avoidance and cover-up. The effects of guilt are weak or non-existent in the presence of
these two forms of shame. I also show that these emotions have a meaningful influence on
how group members relate to unrelated minorities in society, borne in part of a feeling of
moral obligation for past wrongdoing. A study is also reported that shows that, depend-
ing on their individual motivations, different group members prefer different emotional
expressions within apologies offered by their leaders.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0636 Applied psychology
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 22 May 2012 14:29
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/39374

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