Next Article in Journal
The Role of Motion Concepts in Understanding Non-Motion Concepts
Next Article in Special Issue
Understanding the Role of Negative Emotions in Adult Learning and Achievement: A Social Functional Perspective
Previous Article in Journal
Non-Clinical Models for Neurodegenerative Diseases: Therapeutic Approach and Drug Validation in Animal Models
Previous Article in Special Issue
On the Importance of Both Dimensional and Discrete Models of Emotion
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Behav. Sci. 2017, 7(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs7040083

A Comparison of the Social-Adaptive Perspective and Functionalist Perspective on Guilt and Shame

Department of Psychology, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL 36265, USA
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 23 November 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Functional Perspectives on Emotion)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [287 KB, uploaded 11 December 2017]

Abstract

Within the field of guilt and shame two competing perspectives have been advanced. The first, the social-adaptive perspective, proposes that guilt is an inherently adaptive emotion and shame is an inherently maladaptive emotion. Thus, those interested in moral character development and psychopathology should work to increase an individual’s guilt-proneness and decrease an individual’s shame-proneness. The functionalist perspective, in contrast, argues that both guilt and shame can serve a person adaptively or maladaptively—depending on the situational appropriateness, duration, intensity, and so forth. This paper reviews the research conducted supporting both positions; critiques some issues with the most widely used guilt- and shame-proneness measure in the social-adaptive research (the TOSCA) and discusses the differences in results found when assessing guilt and shame at the state versus trait level. The conclusion drawn is that although there is broad support for the functionalist perspective across a wide variety of state and trait guilt/shame studies, the functionalist perspective does not yet have the wealth of data supporting it that has been generated by the social-adaptive perspective using the TOSCA. Thus, before a dominant perspective can be identified, researchers need to (1) do more research assessing how the social-adaptive perspective compares to the functionalist perspective at the state level and (2) do more trait research within the functionalist perspective to compare functionalist guilt- and shame-proneness measures with the TOSCA. View Full-Text
Keywords: guilt; shame; emotion; Test of Self-Conscious Affect; TOSCA; social emotions; moral emotions; self-conscious emotions guilt; shame; emotion; Test of Self-Conscious Affect; TOSCA; social emotions; moral emotions; self-conscious emotions
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Dempsey, H.L. A Comparison of the Social-Adaptive Perspective and Functionalist Perspective on Guilt and Shame. Behav. Sci. 2017, 7, 83.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Behav. Sci. EISSN 2076-328X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top