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Shame expressions reduce the recipient's insult from outgroup reparations

[journal article]

Giner-Sorolla, Roger; Castano, Emanuele; Espinosa, Pablo; Brown, Rupert

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-243396

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Abstract Despite a growing literature on the consequences of group-based guilt and shame, little work has examined how expressions of self-conscious emotions are received by targets of collective wrongdoing. Two experiments tested the hypothesis that when an outgroup member offers apologies accompanied by reparations, the recipients are likely to take insult unless the outgroup member expresses the self-abasing emotion of shame rather than guilt. Experiment 1 showed that when reparations were offered, participants were less insulted by shame than guilt expressed by an outgroup member, rather than an ingroup member. Experiment 2 improved Experiment 1 by manipulating the culprit's action (reparation vs. withdrawal), and this experiment replicated Experiment 1's interaction on a measure of insult, but only when reparations were offered. These interactions on insult were not explained by the emotion’s perceived intensity or surprisingness. Our results indicate a possible functional aspect of expressions of shame in an intergroup context. Self-abasement, as opposed to a mere admission of culpability and regret, can reduce the insult taken from an outgroup's reparations.
Classification Social Psychology
Free Keywords Intergroup emotions; Guilt; Shame; Apology
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 519-526
Journal Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44 (2008) 3
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2007.08.003
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)