Guilt, Shame, and Reparative Behavior: The Effect of Psychological Proximity [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 114 (2):311-323 (2013)

Abstract
Research has paid scant attention to reparative behavior to compensate for unintended wrongdoing or to the role of emotions in doing the right thing. We propose a new approach to investigating reparative behavior by looking at moral emotions and psychological proximity. In this study, we compare the effects of moral emotions (guilt and shame) on the level of compensation for financial harm. We also investigate the role of transgressors’ perceived psychological proximity to the victims of wrongdoing. Our hypotheses were tested through a scenario based questionnaire on a sample of 261 participants. Analyses indicate that (1) guilt has a stronger effect on the level of compensation than shame; (2) psychological proximity influences the level of guilt, shame, and compensation; and (3) shame interacts with psychological proximity to predict compensation, whereas guilt mediates the relationship between psychological proximity and compensation
Keywords Construal level theory  Emotional ethics  Ethical decision making  Guilt  Shame  Psychological proximity  Reparative behavior  Unintended transgression
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-012-1350-2
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References found in this work BETA

Construal-Level Theory of Psychological Distance.Yaacov Trope & Nira Liberman - 2010 - Psychological Review 117 (2):440-463.
Self-Discrepancy: A Theory Relating Self and Affect.E. Tory Higgins - 1987 - Psychological Review 94 (3):319-340.

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