Shame expressions reduce the recipient's insult from outgroup reparations

Giner-Sorolla, Roger, Castano, Emanuele, Espinosa, Pablo and Brown, Rupert (2008) Shame expressions reduce the recipient's insult from outgroup reparations. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44 (3). pp. 519-526. ISSN 0022-1031

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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 culprits action (reparation vs. withdrawal), and this experiment replicated Experiment 1s interaction on a measure of insult, but only when reparations were offered. These interactions on insult were not explained by the emotions 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 outgroups reparations.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Rupert Brown
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:43
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2012 13:51
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