Resolving the paradox of shame: differentiating among specific appraisal-feeling combinations explains pro-social and self-defensive motivation

Gausel, Nicolay, Vignoles, Vivian L and Leach, Colin Wayne (2016) Resolving the paradox of shame: differentiating among specific appraisal-feeling combinations explains pro-social and self-defensive motivation. Motivation and Emotion, 40 (1). pp. 118-139. ISSN 0146-7239

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Abstract

Research has shown that people can respond both self-defensively and pro-socially when they experience shame. We address this paradox by differentiating among specific appraisals (of specific self-defect and concern for condemnation) and feelings (of shame, inferiority, and rejection) often reported as part of shame. In two Experiments (Study 1: N = 85; Study 2: N = 112), manipulations that put participants’ social-image at risk increased their appraisal of concern for condemnation. In Study 2, a manipulation of moral failure increased participants’ appraisal that they suffered a specific self-defect. In both studies, mediation analyses showed that effects of the social-image at risk manipulation on self-defensive motivation were explained by appraisal of concern for condemnation and felt rejection. In contrast, the effect of the moral failure manipulation on pro-social motivation in Study 2 was explained by appraisal of a specific self-defect and felt shame. Thus, distinguishing among the appraisals and feelings tied to shame enabled clearer prediction of pro-social and self-defensive responses to moral failure with and without risk to social-image.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Shame, Rejection, Inferiority, Moral, Pro-social, Defensive
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Depositing User: Lene Hyltoft
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2016 08:35
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2017 03:44
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60537

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