The Body and Appearance Self-Conscious Emotions Scale (BASES): A comprehensive examination of its factorial validity, with recommendations for researchers.Body Image. 2022 Sep; 42:173-182.BI
The 16-item Body and Appearance Self-Conscious Emotions Scale (BASES) is widely used to assess the discrete emotions of guilt, shame, authentic pride, and hubristic pride. However, recent work has questioned the factorial validity of the BASES (i.e., the extent to which it truly assesses a discrete set of self-conscious emotions). In the present study, we re-assessed the factorial validity of the BASES using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory structural equation modelling (ESEM). An online sample of adults from the United Kingdom (N = 637) were asked to complete the BASES. Our analyses indicated that the original 4-factor CFA model had adequate fit but resulted in very high latent correlations between similarly valenced facets (Guilt/Shame and Authentic/Hubristic Pride, respectively). An alternative 2-factor CFA model (combining Guilt-Shame and Authentic-Hubristic Pride) had a less-than-ideal fit. Conversely, 4-factor and 2-factor ESEM solutions both resulted in a superior fit to the data than their CFA counterparts, and in reduced estimates of factor correlations. Both of these ESEM solutions were also fully invariant across gender. These results have important theoretical and practical implications for our understanding of body and appearance-related self-conscious emotions and how this construct is currently measured.