The First Step in Harnessing the Self Conscious Emotions: A Quantitative Exploration of Shame

AbstractA gap currently exists in the literature regarding a quantitative exploration of the self-conscious emotions (i.e., pride, embarrassment, shame, and guilt). In order to address this gap, the present study sought to explore the possibility of systematically inducing one specific self-conscious emotion (shame). Various methods were explored to determine the most effective way to induce a sense of shame in an educational context. Results revealed significant differences in state shame as measured by the Experiential Shame Scale. However, this difference was related to a student’s proneness to shame, expectations of success, and perceptions of failure. Immediate implications for shame’s impact in a variety of educational contexts are discussed.

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