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When feeling bad makes you look good: guilt, shame, and person perception.
Cogn Emot. 2012; 26(3):407-30.CE

Abstract

In two studies, we examined how expressions of guilt and shame affected person perception. In the first study, participants read an autobiographical vignette in which the writer did something wrong and reported feeling either guilt, shame, or no emotion. The participants then rated the writer's motivations, beliefs, and traits, as well as their own feelings toward the writer. The person expressing feelings of guilt or shame was perceived more positively on a number of attributes, including moral motivation and social attunement, than the person who reported feeling no emotion. In the second study, the writer of the vignette reported experiencing (or not experiencing) cognitive and motivational aspects of guilt or shame. Expressing a desire to apologise (guilt) or feelings of worthlessness (private shame) resulted in more positive impressions than did reputational concerns (public shame) or a lack of any of these feelings. Our results indicate that verbal expressions of moral emotions such as guilt and shame influence perception of moral character as well as likeability.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, Montgomery College, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. deborah.stearns@montgomerycollege.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

22471849

Citation

Stearns, Deborah C., and W Gerrod Parrott. "When Feeling Bad Makes You Look Good: Guilt, Shame, and Person Perception." Cognition & Emotion, vol. 26, no. 3, 2012, pp. 407-30.
Stearns DC, Parrott WG. When feeling bad makes you look good: guilt, shame, and person perception. Cogn Emot. 2012;26(3):407-30.
Stearns, D. C., & Parrott, W. G. (2012). When feeling bad makes you look good: guilt, shame, and person perception. Cognition & Emotion, 26(3), 407-30. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2012.675879
Stearns DC, Parrott WG. When Feeling Bad Makes You Look Good: Guilt, Shame, and Person Perception. Cogn Emot. 2012;26(3):407-30. PubMed PMID: 22471849.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - When feeling bad makes you look good: guilt, shame, and person perception. AU - Stearns,Deborah C, AU - Parrott,W Gerrod, PY - 2012/4/5/entrez PY - 2012/4/5/pubmed PY - 2012/8/14/medline SP - 407 EP - 30 JF - Cognition & emotion JO - Cogn Emot VL - 26 IS - 3 N2 - In two studies, we examined how expressions of guilt and shame affected person perception. In the first study, participants read an autobiographical vignette in which the writer did something wrong and reported feeling either guilt, shame, or no emotion. The participants then rated the writer's motivations, beliefs, and traits, as well as their own feelings toward the writer. The person expressing feelings of guilt or shame was perceived more positively on a number of attributes, including moral motivation and social attunement, than the person who reported feeling no emotion. In the second study, the writer of the vignette reported experiencing (or not experiencing) cognitive and motivational aspects of guilt or shame. Expressing a desire to apologise (guilt) or feelings of worthlessness (private shame) resulted in more positive impressions than did reputational concerns (public shame) or a lack of any of these feelings. Our results indicate that verbal expressions of moral emotions such as guilt and shame influence perception of moral character as well as likeability. SN - 1464-0600 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22471849/When_feeling_bad_makes_you_look_good:_guilt_shame_and_person_perception_ L2 - https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02699931.2012.675879 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -