In defense of shame: Shame in the context of guilt and embarrassment

We are interested in the relations among shame, guilt, and embarrassment and especially in how each relates to judgments of character. We start by analyzing the distinction between being and feeling guilty, and unearth the role of shame as a guilt feeling. We proceed to examine shame and guilt in relation to moral responsibility and to flaws of character. We address a recent psychological finding that shame is both destructive and in so far as it has a social function could be replaced by guilt. We reinterpret the guilt culture/shame culture distinction in terms of our way of distinguishing these emotions. Finally we examine embarrassment as distinct from shame and find the difference to lie not so much in the phenomenology of the participant as it is in context, and in which elements of the context the speaker describing the emotion wishes to stress. We conclude by defending shame despite its psychological troubles
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DOI 10.1111/1468-5914.00023
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W. Ray Crozier (2004). Self-Consciousness, Exposure, and the Blush. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 34 (1):1–17.

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