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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1998 Jul;75(1):256-68.

Are shame and guilt related to distinct self-discrepancies? A test of Higgins's (1987) hypotheses.

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1
Department of Psychology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia 22030, USA. jtangney@gmu.edu

Abstract

A study of 229 undergraduates examined whether specific self-discrepancies are differentially related to shame proneness and guilt proneness. Contrary to E. T. Higgins (1987), but in line with the present authors' expectations, the tendency to experience shame, but not guilt, was positively related to all types of self-discrepancies. An attempt was also made to replicate E. T. Higgins, Klein, and Strauman's (1985) findings that specific self-discrepancies are associated with distinct emotion syndromes. No support was found for the central hypotheses of self-discrepancy theory. Finally, the authors evaluated the utility of two methods for assessing self-discrepancies. Higgins's qualitative method and quantitative adjective ratings. The two methods yielded essentially identical relationships to other variables. The very high correlations among different types of self-discrepancies within each method, however, raise discriminant validity concerns.

PMID:
9686463
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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