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What is moral about guilt? Acting "prosocially" at the disadvantage of others.
J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011 Mar; 100(3):462-73.JP

Abstract

For centuries economists and psychologists have argued that the morality of moral emotions lies in the fact that they stimulate prosocial behavior and benefit others in a person's social environment. Many studies have shown that guilt, arguably the most exemplary moral emotion, indeed motivates prosocial behavior in dyadic social dilemma situations. When multiple persons are involved, however, the moral and prosocial nature of this emotion can be questioned. The present article shows how guilt can have beneficial effects for the victim of one's actions but also disadvantageous effects for other people in the social environment. A series of experiments, with various emotion inductions and dependent measures, all reveal that guilt motivates prosocial behavior toward the victim at the expense of others around-but not at the expense of oneself. These findings illustrate that a thorough understanding of the functioning of emotions is necessary to understand their moral nature.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Marketing Management, RotterdamSchool of Management, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. ihooge@rsm.nlNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

21244173

Citation

de Hooge, Ilona E., et al. "What Is Moral About Guilt? Acting "prosocially" at the Disadvantage of Others." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 100, no. 3, 2011, pp. 462-73.
de Hooge IE, Nelissen RM, Breugelmans SM, et al. What is moral about guilt? Acting "prosocially" at the disadvantage of others. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011;100(3):462-73.
de Hooge, I. E., Nelissen, R. M., Breugelmans, S. M., & Zeelenberg, M. (2011). What is moral about guilt? Acting "prosocially" at the disadvantage of others. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(3), 462-73. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021459
de Hooge IE, et al. What Is Moral About Guilt? Acting "prosocially" at the Disadvantage of Others. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2011;100(3):462-73. PubMed PMID: 21244173.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - What is moral about guilt? Acting "prosocially" at the disadvantage of others. AU - de Hooge,Ilona E, AU - Nelissen,Rob M A, AU - Breugelmans,Seger M, AU - Zeelenberg,Marcel, PY - 2011/1/20/entrez PY - 2011/1/20/pubmed PY - 2011/7/8/medline SP - 462 EP - 73 JF - Journal of personality and social psychology JO - J Pers Soc Psychol VL - 100 IS - 3 N2 - For centuries economists and psychologists have argued that the morality of moral emotions lies in the fact that they stimulate prosocial behavior and benefit others in a person's social environment. Many studies have shown that guilt, arguably the most exemplary moral emotion, indeed motivates prosocial behavior in dyadic social dilemma situations. When multiple persons are involved, however, the moral and prosocial nature of this emotion can be questioned. The present article shows how guilt can have beneficial effects for the victim of one's actions but also disadvantageous effects for other people in the social environment. A series of experiments, with various emotion inductions and dependent measures, all reveal that guilt motivates prosocial behavior toward the victim at the expense of others around-but not at the expense of oneself. These findings illustrate that a thorough understanding of the functioning of emotions is necessary to understand their moral nature. SN - 1939-1315 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/21244173/What_is_moral_about_guilt_Acting_"prosocially"_at_the_disadvantage_of_others_ L2 - http://content.apa.org/journals/psp/100/3/462 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -