What do the TOSCA guilt and shame scales really measure:affect or action?

Giner-Sorolla, Roger and Piazza, Jared and Espinosa, Pablo (2011) What do the TOSCA guilt and shame scales really measure:affect or action? Personality and Individual Differences, 51 (4). pp. 445-450. ISSN 0191-8869

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Abstract

Psychologists have long used the Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA) as an instrument for empirically distinguishing between trait emotions of guilt and shame. Recent assessments of the internal structure of the TOSCA guilt scale suggest that it may not measure the experience of guilt, but rather motivation to make amends for personal wrongdoing. In contrast, TOSCA shame may better assess the tendency to experience negative self-conscious affect. Previous research did not take into account that TOSCA guilt theoretically should only predict emotions in a situation of wrongdoing; we put this idea to the test in two studies. Experimental, but not control, participants received believable feedback that they had shown involuntary prejudice towards a member of a minority group. In both studies TOSCA guilt predicted reparative action after feedback was given, including expressing non-prejudiced views and recommending financial compensation to the minority group. However, TOSCA guilt had no relationship with feelings of guilt or shame after expressing prejudice. In contrast, TOSCA shame was a better predictor of feelings of guilt, shame and other self-critical emotions, but did not predict compensatory action. These findings suggest motivation rather than emotion as a mechanism behind past findings involving TOSCA guilt.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Personality and Individual Differences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200
Subjects:
ID Code:
71275
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
16 Oct 2014 10:52
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
12 Aug 2020 03:46