Guilt versus shame: Distinguishing the two emotions from a Chinese perspective

Zhimin Zou1, Dengfeng Wang1
1Peking University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zou, Z., & Wang, D. (2009). Guilt versus shame: Distinguishing the two emotions from a Chinese perspective. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 37, 601-604.

Volume 37 Issue 5 | e1868 | Published: June 2009 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.5.601

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The aim of the study was to examine the relationship between two self-emotions (guilt and shame) and self from a Chinese perspective. In a 2 x 2 experiment conducted with 72 Chinese college students, the outcomes showed that by priming a big-me self-condition, participants would be likely to feel more guilt than shame; whereas by priming a little-me self-condition, participants reported more shame than guilt. The findings are important to distinguish the two self-emotions and also shed a light on the relationship between self-emotion and self.

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