Two Faces of Group-Based Shame: Moral Shame and Image Shame Differentially Predict Positive and Negative Orientations to Ingroup Wrongdoing

Abstract

This article proposes distinctions between guilt and two forms of shame: Guilt arises from a violated norm and is characterized
by a focus on specific behavior; shame can be characterized by a threatened social image (Image Shame) or a threatened moral
essence (Moral Shame). Applying this analysis to group-based emotions, three correlational studies are reported, set in the
context of atrocities committed by (British) ingroup members during the Iraq war (Ns = 147, 256, 399). Results showed that the two forms of shame could be distinguished. Moreover, once the other form of shame
was controlled for, they were differentially related to orientations toward the outgroup: Image Shame was associated with
negative orientations, whereas Moral Shame had associations with positive outgroup orientations. These associations were distinct
from the associations of guilt and rejection. Study 3 used a longitudinal design and provided evidence suggestive of a causal
direction from emotions to outgroup orientation.

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