Defend or repair? Explaining responses to in-group moral failure by disentangling feelings of shame, rejection, and inferiority

Gausel, Nicolay, Leach, Colin Wayne, Vignoles, Vivian L. and Brown, Rupert (2012) Defend or repair? Explaining responses to in-group moral failure by disentangling feelings of shame, rejection, and inferiority. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102 (5). pp. 941-960. ISSN 0022-3514

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Abstract

Research on shame about in-group moral failure has yielded paradoxical results. In some studies, shame predicts self-defensive motivations to withdraw. In other studies, shame predicts pro-social motivations, such as restitution. We think that this paradox can be explained by disentangling the numerous appraisals and feelings subsumed under the label “shame.” In 2 studies, we asked community samples of Norwegians about their in-group's discrimination against the Tater minority. Confirmatory factor analysis validated the measures of the appraisals and feelings used in Study 1 ( N = 206) and Study 2 ( N = 173). In both studies, an appraisal of the in-group as suffering a moral defect best predicted felt shame, whereas an appraisal of concern for condemnation of the in-group best predicted felt rejection. In both studies, felt rejection best predicted self-defensive motivation, whereas felt shame best predicted pro-social motivation. Implications for conceptualizing and studying shame are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Rupert Brown
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2012 16:19
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2013 13:27
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/41316
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