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'''Guilt''' is a [[cognitive]] or an [[emotion|emotional]] experience that occurs when a person [[understanding|realizes]] or [[belief|believes]] - whether justified or not - that he or she has violated a [[Morality|moral]] standard and is responsible for that violation.<ref>[http://www.enotes.com/gale-psychology-encyclopedia/guilt "Guilt." Encyclopedia of Psychology]. 2nd ed. Ed. Bonnie R. Strickland. Gale Group, Inc., 2001. eNotes.com. 2006. 31 Dec, 2007</ref> It is closely related to the concept of [[remorse]].
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'''Guilt''' is a [[cognitive]] or an [[emotion]]al experience that occurs when a person [[understanding|realizes]] or [[belief|believes]]&mdash;accurately or not&mdash;that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a [[Morality|moral]] standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation.<ref>[http://www.enotes.com/gale-psychology-encyclopedia/guilt "Guilt." Encyclopedia of Psychology]. 2nd ed. Ed. Bonnie R. Strickland. Gale Group, Inc., 2001. eNotes.com. 2006. 31 December 2007</ref> It is closely related to the concept of [[remorse]].
   
==Definitions of guilt==
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==Psychology==
In psychology and ordinary language, guilt is an affective state in which one experiences conflict at having done something that one believes one should not have done (or conversely, having not done something one believes one should have done). It gives rise to a feeling that does not go away easily, driven by [[conscience]]. [[Sigmund Freud]] described this as the result of a struggle between the [[Ego, superego, and id|ego]] and the superego parental imprinting. Guilt and its causes, merits, and demerits are common themes in psychology and psychiatry. It is often associated with depression. The philosopher [[Martin Buber]] underlined the difference between the [[Sigmund Freud|Freudian]] notion of guilt, based on internal conflicts, and ''existential guilt'', based on actual harm done to others.<ref>Buber, M. (1957). [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=PubMed&Cmd=Search&Term=%22BUBER%20M%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVCitation Guilt and guilt feelings.] ''Psychiatry.'' May; 20(2): 114-29.</ref>
 
   
Guilt is the fact, state, or verdict (by a court or other tribunal), of an offence, [[crime]], violation, or wrong committed, especially against [[morality|moral]] or penal [[law]].
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Guilt is an important factor in perpetuating [[Obsessive–compulsive disorder]] symptoms.<ref>{{cite web|author=Leslie J. Shapiro, LICSW |url=https://www.aacp.com/Abstract.asp?AID=9322&issue=February%202011&page=C&UID= |title=Pathological guilt: A persistent yet overlooked treatment factor in obsessive-compulsive disorder — |publisher=Aacp.com |date= |accessdate=27 November 2012}}</ref> Guilt and its associated causes, merits, and demerits are common themes in [[psychology]] and [[psychiatry]]. Both in specialized and in ordinary language, guilt is an affective state in which one experiences conflict at having done something that one believes one should not have done (or conversely, having not done something one believes one should have done). It gives rise to a feeling which does not go away easily, driven by '[[conscience]]'. [[Sigmund Freud]] described this as the result of a struggle between the [[Ego, superego, and id|ego]] and the [[superego]] - parental imprinting. Freud rejected the role of [[God]] as punisher in times of illness or rewarder in time of wellness. While removing one source of guilt from patients, he described another. This was the unconscious force within the individual that contributed to illness, Freud in fact coming to consider "the obstacle of an unconscious sense of guilt...as the most powerful of all obstacles to recovery."<ref>Sigmund Freud, ''On Metapsychology'' (PFL 11)p. 390-1</ref> For his later explicator, [[Jacques Lacan|Lacan]], guilt was the inevitable companion of the signifying subject who acknowledged normality in the form of [[the Symbolic]] order.<ref>Catherine Belsey, ''Shakespeare in Theory and Practice'' (2008) p. 25</ref>
   
== Causes of guilt ==
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[[Alice Miller (psychologist)|Alice Miller]] claims that "many people suffer all their lives from this oppressive feeling of guilt, the sense of not having lived up to their parents' expectations....no argument can overcome these guilt feelings, for they have their beginnings in life's earliest period, and from that they derive their intensity."<ref>Alice Miller, ''The Drama of Being a Child'' (1995) p. 99-100</ref> This may be linked to what Les Parrott has called "the disease of false guilt....At the root of false guilt is the idea that what you ''feel'' must be true."<ref>Parrott, p. 158-9</ref> If you ''feel'' guilty, you must ''be'' guilty!
Some thinkers have theorized that guilt is used as a tool of [[social control]]. Since guilty people feel they are undeserving, they are less likely to assert their rights and prerogatives. Thus, those in power seek to cultivate a sense of guilt among the populace, in order to make them more tractable.{{Fact|date=April 2007}}
 
   
Some evolutionary psychologists theorize that guilt and shame helped maintain beneficial relationships, such as [[reciprocal altruism]].<ref>"Shame and Psychopathology" By Stefano Pallanti, MD, and Leonardo Quercioli, MD</ref> If a person feels guilty when he harms another or even fails to reciprocate kindness, he is more likely not to harm others or become too selfish; in this way, he reduces the chances of retaliation by members of his tribe and thereby increases his survival prospects, and those of the tribe or group. As with any other emotion, guilt can be manipulated to control or influence others.
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The philosopher [[Martin Buber]] underlined the difference between the [[Sigmund Freud|Freudian]] notion of guilt, based on internal conflicts, and ''existential guilt'', based on actual harm done to others.<ref>{{cite journal |author=Buber M |title=Guilt and guilt feelings |journal=Psychiatry |volume=20 |issue=2 |pages=114–29 |year=1957 |month=May |pmid=13441838 }}</ref>
   
Another common notion is that guilt is assigned by social processes such as a [[jury trial]], i.e. that it is a strictly legal concept. Thus the ruling of a jury that [[O.J. Simpson]] or [[Julius Rosenberg]] was "guilty" or "not guilty" is taken as an actual judgement by the whole society that they must act as if they were so. By corollary, the ruling that such a person is "not guilty" may not be so taken, due to the asymmetry in the assumption that one is [[Presumption of innocence|assumed innocent until proven guilty]] and prefers to take the [[risk]] of freeing a guilty party over convicting innocents.
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Guilt is often associated with [[anxiety]]. In [[mania]], according to [[Otto Fenichel]], the patient succeeds in applying to guilt "the defense mechanism of denial by overcompensation...re-enacts being a person without guilt feelings."<ref>Otto Fenichel, ''The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis'' (London 1946) p. 409-10</ref>
   
Still others -- often, but not always, theists of one type or another -- believe that the origin of guilt comes from violating universal principles of right and wrong. In most instances, people who believe this also acknowledge that, even though there is proper guilt from doing 'wrong' instead of doing 'right,' people endure all sorts of guilty feelings that don't stem from violating universal moral principles.
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In psychological research, guilt can be measured by using questionnaires, such as the [[Discrete Emotions Theory|Differential Emotions Scale]] (Izard's DES), or the [[Dutch Guilt Measurement Instrument]].{{citation needed|date=November 2012}}
   
==Collective guilt==
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===Defences===
{{splitsection}}
 
{{see also|Collective responsibility (doctrine)}}
 
''Collective guilt'', or ''guilt by association'', is the controversial [[collectivist]] idea that a group of humans can bear guilt above and beyond the guilt of particular members, and hence an individual holds responsibility for what other members of his group have done, even if he himself hasn't done this. Advanced systems of [[criminal law]] accept the principle that [[guilt (law)|guilt]] shall only be personal. This attitude is not usually shared by other systems of law. Assumption of collective responsibility is common for [[feud]]. Such systems tend to judge the guilt of persons by their associations, classifications or organizations, which often gives rise to racial, ethnic, social and religious [[prejudices]].<ref>Wright, Quincy (1949). [http://www.jstor.org/view/00029300/di981674/98p04435/0 International Law and Guilt by Association]. ''[[The American Journal of International Law]]'' 43.4, 746-755.</ref> Collective guilt is regarded by some as impossible because it seems to presuppose that collections of humans can have traits, such as intentions and knowledge, that strictly speaking are claimed to be truly possessed only by individuals.{{Fact|date=February 2007}} The principle of collective guilt is totally denounced in [[libertarianism|libertarian]] social thinking. However, there are those who consider such judgements on collective guilt to be overly [[reductionism|reductionistic]] and accept the existence of collective guilt, collective responsibility, etc.{{Fact|date=February 2007}} Sometimes the idea of collective guilt can be a form of [[Association fallacy#Guilt by association|association fallacy]]. Humans seem to have a natural tendency to attribute collective guilt, usually with tragic results. History is filled with examples of a wronged man who tried to avenge himself, not on the person who has wronged him, but on other members of the wrong-doer's family, or ethnic group, or religion, or nation, or tribe, or army. Likewise collective punishment is often practiced in different settings, including schools (punishing a whole class for the actions of a single unknown pupil) and, more transcendentally, in situation of war, economic sanctions, etc, presupposing the existence of collective guilt.
 
   
The idea of collective guilt, however, became popular in Western World since the [[1960s]], as many historical injustices, including e.g. [[slavery in the United States]], has been perceived by [[intelligentsia]] as faults of the society requiring retribution on behalf of those who had nothing to do with them (see e.g. [[Reparations for slavery]] and [[White guilt]]).<ref>Thomas Sowell (2007). [http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2007/04/aftermath_of_the_1960s.html Aftermath of the 1960s?].</ref><ref>Posner, Eric A. & Adrian Vermeule (2003). Reparations for Slavery and Other Historical Injustices. ''[[Columbia Law Review]]'' 103.3, 689-748.</ref><ref>Wenger, Kaimipono D. (2004). [http://law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1916&context=expresso Causation and Attenuation in the Slavery Reparations Debate]</ref><ref>Lilly, J. Robert & Richard A. Ball (1982). [http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1745-9125.1982.tb00455.x A Critical Analysis of the Changing Concept of Criminal Responsibility]. ''[[Criminology (journal)|Criminology]]'' 20 (2), 169–184.</ref>
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Fenichel points out that "mastery of guilt feelings may become the all-consuming task of a person's whole life...'counter-guilt.'"<ref>Fenichelp. 496</ref> Various techniques are possible, including [[Psychological repression|repression]]. Freud pointed out that "as a rule the ego carries out repressions in the service and at the behest of its superego; but this is a case in which it has turned the same weapon against its harsh taskmaster."<ref>Freud, p. 393</ref> The problem, according to [[Eric Berne]], is that because the superego is "a jealous master whose punishments are difficult to avoid", one may (in a return of the repressed) "begin to feel guilty many years afterwards and perhaps break down...under the long-continued reproaches of the Superego."<ref>Eric Berne, ''A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis'' (Penguin 1976) p. 191</ref>
   
[[Terrorism]] is commonly rationalized by its practitioners on ideas of collective guilt and responsibility.<ref>Devine, Philip E. & Robert J. Rafalko (1982). On Terror. ''[[Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science]]'' 463, International Terrorism (Sep., 1982), pp. 39-53.</ref> Many nations have laws holding corporations, but not the individual decision-makers within them, responsible for certain kinds of acts. For example, in the United States corporations can be fined for violating pollution laws, but the individuals who actually ordered and directed the polluting activity may not themselves be regarded as having broken any laws, since they act as corporate officers on behalf of the shareholders.
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[[Psychological projection|Projection]] is another defensive tool with wide applications. It may take the form of [[blaming the victim]]: The victim of someone else's accident or bad luck may be offered criticism, the theory being that the victim may be at fault for having attracted the other person's hostility.<ref>The Pursuit of Health, June Bingham & Norman Tamarkin, M.D., Walker Press</ref> Alternatively, in Fenichel's words, "the superego is reprojected onto external objects for the purpose of getting rid of guilt feelings...using external objects as "witnesses" in the fight against the superego."<ref>Fenichel, p. 165 and p. 293</ref> Here the danger is of creating [[Ideas of reference and delusions of reference|ideas of reference]].
This is generally known as the "[[Piercing the corporate veil|corporate veil]]".
 
   
==Cultural views of guilt==
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Another form of [[psychological projection|Projection]] is self-harm or self-blame. "Guilty people punish themselves if they have no opportunity to compensate the transgression that caused them to feel guilty. It was found that self-punishment did not occur if people had an opportunity to compensate the victim of their transgression."<ref>Nelissen, R. M. A., & Zeelenberg, M. (2009). When guilt evokes self-punishment: Evidence for the existence of a dobby effect. Emotion, 9(1), 118-122. doi:10.1037/a0014540</ref> Some forms of self-inflicted punishment are self-denied pleasure, or not allowing oneself to enjoy opportunities or benefits due to guilty feelings that cannot be resolved through compensation.
   
Japanese society and Ancient Greek society are sometimes said to be "[[shame]]-based" rather than "guilt-based" in that the social consequences of "getting caught" are seen as more important than the individual feelings or experiences of the agent. This may lead to more of a focus on [[etiquette]] than [[ethics]] as understood in Western civilization. This has lead some in Western civilizations to question why the word ''[[ethos]]'' was adapted from [[Ancient Greek]] with such vast differences in cultural norms.
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===Lack of guilt in people with psychopathy===
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Individuals high in [[psychopathy]] lack any true sense of guilt or [[remorse]] for harm they may have caused others. Instead, they [[Rationalization (psychology)|rationalize]] their behavior, [[blame]] someone else, or [[Denial|deny]] it outright.<ref>{{cite book |author=Morten Birket-Smith; Millon, Theodore; Erik Simonsen; Davis, Roger E. |chapter=11. Psychopathy and the Five-Factor Model of Personality, Widiger and Lynam |title=Psychopathy: Antisocial, Criminal, and Violent Behavior |publisher=The Guilford Press |location=New York |year=2002 |pages=173–7 |isbn=1-57230-864-8 |oclc= |doi= |accessdate=}}<!--Check Edition--></ref> A person with [[psychopathy]] has a tendency to be harmful to his or herself and to others. They have little ability to plan ahead for the future. An individual with [[psychopathy]] will never find themselves at fault because, they will do whatever it takes to benefit themselves without reservation. A person that does not feel guilt or remorse would have no reason to find themselves at fault for something that they did with the intention of hurting another person. To a person high in psychopathy, their actions can always be rationalized to be the fault of another person. <ref>{{cite journal|last=Kosson|first=D.S.|coauthors=C. S., Forth, A. E., Salekin, R. T., Hare, R. D., Krischer, M. K., & Sevecke, K|title=Factor structure of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) in adolescent females.|journal=Psychological Assessment|year=2013}}</ref> This is seen by psychologists as part of a lack of moral reasoning (in comparison with the majority of humans), an inability to evaluate situations in a moral framework, and an inability to develop emotional bonds with other people due in part to a low [[emotional intelligence]]. [[Emotional intelligence]] is the ability to understand and asses the emotions of others. Some studies indicate that the ability to read and work with the emotions of others can be a better predictor for one's occupational success than general intelligence. <ref>{{cite journal|last=Hare|first=R.D.|coauthors=T.J. Hare|title=Psychopathy and the DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder|journal=Journal Of Abnormal Psychology|year=1991}}</ref>
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It is a common mistake to confuse [[antisocial personality]] disorder with psychopathy. Antisocial Personality Disorder falls under Cluster B of the DSM axis, which includes personality disorders that are considered emotional, erratic, and dramatic. Those with Antisocial Personality Disorder show little concern for others, lack the ability to plan for the future, and show deceitfulness. Antisocial Personality Disorder and psychopathy are similar in the way that individuals with these conditions do not display feelings of remorse, guilt, or regard for others. However, these conditions are not interchangeable. Individuals with psychopathy have emotional resilience and a fearless temperament that those with Antisocial Personality Disorder do not have. <ref>{{cite journal|last=Neal|first=T.S.|coauthors=M. Sellbom|title=). Examining the factor structure of the Hare Self-Report Psychopathy Scale|journal=Journal Of Personality Assessment,|year=2012|page=244-253.}}</ref><ref>{{cite journal|last=Hare|first=R.D.|coauthors=S.D. Harpur|title=Psychopathy and the DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder|journal=Journal Of Abnormal Psychology|year=1991}}</ref> Antisocial Personality Disorder can also be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a mental illness; psychopathy cannot.
   
[[Christianity]] and [[Islam]] inherit most notions of guilt from [[Judaism]], Ancient Persia and [[Ancient Rome|Roman]] ideas, mostly as interpreted through [[Augustine of Hippo|Augustine]] who adapted [[Plato]]'s ideas to Christianity. The [[Latin]] word for guilt is ''culpa'', a word sometimes seen in law literature, e.g. in ''mea culpa'' meaning "my fault (guilt)".
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The strong sense of self-centered impulsivity and the lack of remorse shown by those with psychopathy has led to a strong correlation between criminal behavior and psychopathy. Due to a lack of guilt, a person showing signs of psychopathy will be able to recount the details of their violent crimes without hesitation in a casual manner and fixate on every detail of the day of the crime; including what they had for breakfast that morning. <ref>{{cite journal|last=Hare|first=R.D.|coauthors=S.D. Harpur|title=Psychopathy and the DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder|journal=Journal Of Abnormal Psychology|year=1991}}</ref>
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There are a number of those high in psychopathy that do not go on to commit criminal acts. Many successful Chief Executive Officers of companies around the world show signs of psychopathy. Individuals high in psychopathy are also attracted to jobs that require little emotional investment such as positions in law and in the media. Those that display signs of psychopathy can be very successful because they have the ability to be kind and charming as an effort to get what they want. Due to a lack of guilt, those with psychopathy are not bothered by hurting other people in the process of getting what they want. Those with psychopathy do not procrastinate and are assertive in getting what they want.<ref>{{cite journal|last=Kosson|first=D.S.|coauthors=Neumann, C. S., Forth, A. E., Salekin, R. T., Hare, R. D., Krischer, M. K., & Sevecke, K.|title=). Factor structure of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) in adolescent females.|journal=Psychological Assessment,|year=2013}}</ref>
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===Causes (etiology)===
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====Evolutionary theories====
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Some evolutionary psychologists theorize that guilt and shame helped maintain beneficial relationships, such as [[reciprocal altruism]].<ref>{{cite journal |author=Pallanti S, Quercioli L |title=Shame and psychopathology |journal=CNS Spectr |volume=5 |issue=8 |pages=28–43 |year=2000 |month=August |pmid=18192938 }}</ref> If a person feels guilty when he harms another, or even fails to reciprocate kindness, he is more likely not to harm others or become too selfish. In this way, he reduces the chances of retaliation by members of his tribe, and thereby increases his survival prospects, and those of the tribe or group. As with any other emotion, guilt can be [[Psychological manipulation|manipulated]] to control or influence others. As a highly social animal living in large groups that are relatively stable, we need ways to deal with conflicts and events in which we inadvertently or purposefully harm others. If someone causes harm to another, and then feels guilt and demonstrates regret and sorrow, the person harmed is likely to forgive. Thus, guilt makes it possible to forgive, and helps hold the social group together.
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====Social psychology theories====
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When we see another person suffering, it can also cause us pain. This constitutes our powerful system of empathy, which leads to our thinking that we should do something to relieve the suffering of others. If we cannot help another, or fail in our efforts, we experience feelings of guilt. From the perspective of group selection, groups that are made up of a high percentage of co-operators outdo groups with a low percentage of co-operators in between-group competition. People who are more prone to high levels of empathy-based guilt may be likely to suffer from anxiety and depression; however, they are also more likely to cooperate and behave altruistically. This suggests that guilt-proneness may not always be beneficial at the level of the individual, or within-group competition, but highly beneficial in between-group competition. {{Citation needed|reason=cf. Dearing, et al. in Addictive Behaviors Vol 30.7 for conflicting research.|date=December 2008}}
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====Other theories====
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Another common notion is that guilt is assigned by social processes, such as a [[jury trial]] (i. e., that it is a strictly legal concept). Thus, the ruling of a jury that [[O.J. Simpson]] or [[Julius Rosenberg]] was "guilty" or "not innocent" is taken as an actual judgment by the whole society that they must act as if they were so. By corollary, the ruling that such a person is "not guilty" may not be so taken, due to the asymmetry in the assumption that one is [[Presumption of innocence|assumed innocent until proven guilty]], and prefers to take the [[risk]] of freeing a guilty party over convicting innocents. Still others—often, but not always, theists of one type or another—believe that the origin of guilt comes from violating universal principles of right and wrong. In most instances, people who believe this also acknowledge that even though there is proper guilt from doing 'wrong' instead of doing 'right,' people endure all sorts of guilty feelings which do not stem from violating universal moral principles.
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==Collective guilt==<!--[[Collective guilt]] redirects directly here.-->
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{{essay|section|date=April 2013}}
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Collective guilt (or group guilt) is the unpleasant and often emotional reaction that results among a group of individuals when it is perceived that the group illegitimately harmed members of another group. It is often the result of “sharing a social identity with others whose actions represent a threat to the positivity of that identity.”<ref name="Collective">{{cite book |last=Branscombe |first= Nyla R. |coauthors=Bertjan Doosje |year=2004
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|title=Collective Guilt: International Perspectives |publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=0-521-52083-5 }}</ref> Different intergroup inequalities can result in collective guilt, such as receiving unearned benefits and privileges or inflicting more extreme forms of harm on an [[out-group]] (including [[genocide]]). Individuals are generally motivated to avoid collective guilt in order to maintain a positive social identity. There are many ways of decreasing collective guilt, such as [[denying]] harm or justifying actions. Collective guilt can also lead to positive outcomes, such as promoting intergroup reconciliation and reducing negative attitudes towards the out-group.{{citation needed|date=April 2013}}
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There are several causes of collective guilt: salient group identity, collective responsibility, and perception of unjust [[in-group]] actions. In order for an individual to experience collective guilt, he must identify himself as a part of the in-group. “This produces a perceptual shift from thinking of oneself in terms of ‘I’ and ‘me’ to ‘us’ or ‘we’.”<ref name=Collective/> Only when an individual is salient with the in-group can he or she perceive responsibility for the harmful actions of the group, past and present. In addition to in-group salience, an individual will only feel collective guilt if he or she views the in-group as responsible for the harmful actions done to the out-group. For instance, in two studies by the American Mosaic Project, racial inequality in the United States was framed as either “Black Disadvantage” or “White Privilege.” When the term “black disadvantage” was used to describe racial inequality, white participants felt less collectively responsible for the harm done to the out-group, which lessened collective guilt. In comparison, when “[[white privilege]]” was used, white participants felt more collectively responsible for the harm done, which increased collective guilt.{{citation needed|date=April 2013}}
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Lastly, an individual has to believe the actions caused by the in-group were unjustifiable, indefensible, and unforgivable. If an individual can justify the actions of the in-group, this will lessen collective guilt. Only when an individual views the in-group actions as reprehensible will that individual feel collective guilt. Collective guilt is not only a result of feeling [[empathy]] for the out-group. It can also be caused by self-conscious emotion that stems from the questioning of the morality of the in-group.{{citation needed|date=April 2013}}
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There are various methods of reducing collective guilt. Some of these methods are denying the in-group’s harmful actions, denying [[moral responsibility|responsibility]], claiming actions by the in-group were just, focusing on positive aspects caused by the harmful action, and pointing out positive things in other areas to counterbalance the harm. First, by denying the in-group’s harmful actions, or [[downplaying]] the severity of the harm, the effect of collective guilt is lessened. If the individual or group can neglect to observe the harm caused by their actions, either consciously or unconsciously, then the individual will not feel collective guilt. If a person does not feel that the in-group is responsible for the harm caused by actions, collective guilt will be lessened. Additionally, if a person believes that only individuals are responsible for their own actions, and not a collective group, then they can deny the existence of collective responsibility, thereby reducing feelings of collective guilt. An individual can rationalize the actions of the in-group. If the individual believes that there were just reasons for the harm inflicted, collective guilt is likely to be reduced. For instance, out-group dehumanization is one effective means towards justifying the in-group’s actions. By focusing on the positive aspects of the in-group’s actions rather than the harmful effects, collective guilt can be reduced. For instance, an individual or group may choose to focus on the benefits of high levels of production and consumption, rather than on its harmful effects on the environment.{{citation needed|date=April 2013}}
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==Cultural views==
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{{Unreferenced section|date=June 2009}}
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Traditional [[Culture of Japan|Japanese society]], [[Korean society]] and [[Chinese culture]]<ref>Bill Brugger, ''China, Liberation and Transformation'' (1981) p. 18-19</ref> are sometimes said to be "[[shame]]-based" rather than "guilt-based", in that the social consequences of "getting caught" are seen as more important than the individual feelings or experiences of the agent (see the work of [[Ruth Benedict]]). The same has been said of [[Ancient Greece|Ancient Greek society]], a culture where, in [[Bruno Snell]]'s words, if "honour is destroyed the moral existence of the loser collapses."<ref>Quoted in M. I. Finley, ''The World of Odysseus'' (1967) p. 136</ref>
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This may lead to more of a focus on [[etiquette]] than on [[ethics]] as understood in Western civilization, leading some{{who|date=April 2012}} in Western civilizations to question why the word ''[[ethos]]'' was adapted from [[Ancient Greek]] with such vast differences in cultural norms. [[Christianity]] and [[Islam]] inherit most notions of guilt from [[Judaism]], [[Ancient Persia|Persia]]n, and [[Ancient Rome|Roman]] ideas, mostly as interpreted through [[Augustine of Hippo|Augustine]], who adapted [[Plato]]'s ideas to Christianity. The [[Latin]] word for guilt is ''culpa'', a word sometimes seen in law literature, for instance in ''mea culpa'' meaning "my fault (guilt)."
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===Etymology===
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Guilt, from [[Anglo-Saxon language|O.E.]] ''gylt'' "crime, sin, fault, fine, debt,", derived from O.E. ''gieldan'' "to pay for, debt." The mistaken use for "sense of guilt" is first recorded 1690. "Guilt by association" is first recorded in 1941. "Guilty" is from O.E. ''gyltig'', from ''gylt''.
   
 
==Dealing with guilt==
 
==Dealing with guilt==
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Law does not usually accept the agent's [[self-punishment]], but some ancient codes did so: in [[Athens]] the [[accused]] was permitted to propose his or her own remedy, which might in fact be a [[reward]], while the [[accuser]] proposed another, and the [[jury]] chose between. This forced the accused to effectively bet on his support in the community - as [[Socrates]] did when he proposed "room and board in the town hall" as his fate. He lost, and drank hemlock, a poison, as advised by his accuser.
 
Law does not usually accept the agent's [[self-punishment]], but some ancient codes did so: in [[Athens]] the [[accused]] was permitted to propose his or her own remedy, which might in fact be a [[reward]], while the [[accuser]] proposed another, and the [[jury]] chose between. This forced the accused to effectively bet on his support in the community - as [[Socrates]] did when he proposed "room and board in the town hall" as his fate. He lost, and drank hemlock, a poison, as advised by his accuser.
   
==Lack of guilt==
 
 
[[Psychopathy|Psychopaths]] typically lack a sense of guilt or remorse for any harm they may have caused others, instead rationalizing the behavior, blaming someone else, or denying it altogether.<ref>Millon, Theodore; Davis, Roger D. "Chapter 11: The Five-Factor Model of Personality, pp. 173-177. Psychopathy: Antisocial, Criminal, and Violent Behavior.</ref> This is seen by psychologists as part of a lack of moral reasoning in comparison with the majority of humans, an inability to evaluate situations in a moral framework and an inability to develop emotional bonds with other people.<ref>Hare, R. D., & Neumann, C. N. (2006). The PCL-R Assessment of Psychopathy: Development, Structural Properties, and New Directions. In C. Patrick (Ed.), Handbook of Psychopathy (pp. 58-88). New York: Guilford.</ref>
 
   
 
==See also==
 
==See also==
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* [[Anxiety disorders]]
 
* [[Anxiety disorders]]
 
* [[Blame]]
 
* [[Blame]]
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* [[Conscience]]
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* [[Emotional blackmail]]
 
* [[Guilt society]]
 
* [[Guilt society]]
 
* [[Guilty Knowledge Test]]
 
* [[Guilty Knowledge Test]]
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* [[Postponement of affect#Guilt|Postponement of guilt]]
 
* [[Sacrifice]]
 
* [[Sacrifice]]
 
* [[Shame]]
 
* [[Shame]]
  +
* [[Social emotions]]
  +
* [[Sociopathy]]
 
* [[Survivor guilt]]
 
* [[Survivor guilt]]
   
 
==References==
 
==References==
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==Bibliography==
 
==Bibliography==

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Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation.[1] It is closely related to the concept of remorse.

PsychologyEdit

Guilt is an important factor in perpetuating Obsessive–compulsive disorder symptoms.[2] Guilt and its associated causes, merits, and demerits are common themes in psychology and psychiatry. Both in specialized and in ordinary language, guilt is an affective state in which one experiences conflict at having done something that one believes one should not have done (or conversely, having not done something one believes one should have done). It gives rise to a feeling which does not go away easily, driven by 'conscience'. Sigmund Freud described this as the result of a struggle between the ego and the superego - parental imprinting. Freud rejected the role of God as punisher in times of illness or rewarder in time of wellness. While removing one source of guilt from patients, he described another. This was the unconscious force within the individual that contributed to illness, Freud in fact coming to consider "the obstacle of an unconscious sense of guilt...as the most powerful of all obstacles to recovery."[3] For his later explicator, Lacan, guilt was the inevitable companion of the signifying subject who acknowledged normality in the form of the Symbolic order.[4]

Alice Miller claims that "many people suffer all their lives from this oppressive feeling of guilt, the sense of not having lived up to their parents' expectations....no argument can overcome these guilt feelings, for they have their beginnings in life's earliest period, and from that they derive their intensity."[5] This may be linked to what Les Parrott has called "the disease of false guilt....At the root of false guilt is the idea that what you feel must be true."[6] If you feel guilty, you must be guilty!

The philosopher Martin Buber underlined the difference between the Freudian notion of guilt, based on internal conflicts, and existential guilt, based on actual harm done to others.[7]

Guilt is often associated with anxiety. In mania, according to Otto Fenichel, the patient succeeds in applying to guilt "the defense mechanism of denial by overcompensation...re-enacts being a person without guilt feelings."[8]

In psychological research, guilt can be measured by using questionnaires, such as the Differential Emotions Scale (Izard's DES), or the Dutch Guilt Measurement Instrument.[citation needed]

DefencesEdit

Fenichel points out that "mastery of guilt feelings may become the all-consuming task of a person's whole life...'counter-guilt.'"[9] Various techniques are possible, including repression. Freud pointed out that "as a rule the ego carries out repressions in the service and at the behest of its superego; but this is a case in which it has turned the same weapon against its harsh taskmaster."[10] The problem, according to Eric Berne, is that because the superego is "a jealous master whose punishments are difficult to avoid", one may (in a return of the repressed) "begin to feel guilty many years afterwards and perhaps break down...under the long-continued reproaches of the Superego."[11]

Projection is another defensive tool with wide applications. It may take the form of blaming the victim: The victim of someone else's accident or bad luck may be offered criticism, the theory being that the victim may be at fault for having attracted the other person's hostility.[12] Alternatively, in Fenichel's words, "the superego is reprojected onto external objects for the purpose of getting rid of guilt feelings...using external objects as "witnesses" in the fight against the superego."[13] Here the danger is of creating ideas of reference.

Another form of Projection is self-harm or self-blame. "Guilty people punish themselves if they have no opportunity to compensate the transgression that caused them to feel guilty. It was found that self-punishment did not occur if people had an opportunity to compensate the victim of their transgression."[14] Some forms of self-inflicted punishment are self-denied pleasure, or not allowing oneself to enjoy opportunities or benefits due to guilty feelings that cannot be resolved through compensation.

Lack of guilt in people with psychopathyEdit

Individuals high in psychopathy lack any true sense of guilt or remorse for harm they may have caused others. Instead, they rationalize their behavior, blame someone else, or deny it outright.[15] A person with psychopathy has a tendency to be harmful to his or herself and to others. They have little ability to plan ahead for the future. An individual with psychopathy will never find themselves at fault because, they will do whatever it takes to benefit themselves without reservation. A person that does not feel guilt or remorse would have no reason to find themselves at fault for something that they did with the intention of hurting another person. To a person high in psychopathy, their actions can always be rationalized to be the fault of another person. [16] This is seen by psychologists as part of a lack of moral reasoning (in comparison with the majority of humans), an inability to evaluate situations in a moral framework, and an inability to develop emotional bonds with other people due in part to a low emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and asses the emotions of others. Some studies indicate that the ability to read and work with the emotions of others can be a better predictor for one's occupational success than general intelligence. [17] It is a common mistake to confuse antisocial personality disorder with psychopathy. Antisocial Personality Disorder falls under Cluster B of the DSM axis, which includes personality disorders that are considered emotional, erratic, and dramatic. Those with Antisocial Personality Disorder show little concern for others, lack the ability to plan for the future, and show deceitfulness. Antisocial Personality Disorder and psychopathy are similar in the way that individuals with these conditions do not display feelings of remorse, guilt, or regard for others. However, these conditions are not interchangeable. Individuals with psychopathy have emotional resilience and a fearless temperament that those with Antisocial Personality Disorder do not have. [18][19] Antisocial Personality Disorder can also be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a mental illness; psychopathy cannot.

The strong sense of self-centered impulsivity and the lack of remorse shown by those with psychopathy has led to a strong correlation between criminal behavior and psychopathy. Due to a lack of guilt, a person showing signs of psychopathy will be able to recount the details of their violent crimes without hesitation in a casual manner and fixate on every detail of the day of the crime; including what they had for breakfast that morning. [20]

There are a number of those high in psychopathy that do not go on to commit criminal acts. Many successful Chief Executive Officers of companies around the world show signs of psychopathy. Individuals high in psychopathy are also attracted to jobs that require little emotional investment such as positions in law and in the media. Those that display signs of psychopathy can be very successful because they have the ability to be kind and charming as an effort to get what they want. Due to a lack of guilt, those with psychopathy are not bothered by hurting other people in the process of getting what they want. Those with psychopathy do not procrastinate and are assertive in getting what they want.[21]

Causes (etiology)Edit

Evolutionary theoriesEdit

Some evolutionary psychologists theorize that guilt and shame helped maintain beneficial relationships, such as reciprocal altruism.[22] If a person feels guilty when he harms another, or even fails to reciprocate kindness, he is more likely not to harm others or become too selfish. In this way, he reduces the chances of retaliation by members of his tribe, and thereby increases his survival prospects, and those of the tribe or group. As with any other emotion, guilt can be manipulated to control or influence others. As a highly social animal living in large groups that are relatively stable, we need ways to deal with conflicts and events in which we inadvertently or purposefully harm others. If someone causes harm to another, and then feels guilt and demonstrates regret and sorrow, the person harmed is likely to forgive. Thus, guilt makes it possible to forgive, and helps hold the social group together.

Social psychology theoriesEdit

When we see another person suffering, it can also cause us pain. This constitutes our powerful system of empathy, which leads to our thinking that we should do something to relieve the suffering of others. If we cannot help another, or fail in our efforts, we experience feelings of guilt. From the perspective of group selection, groups that are made up of a high percentage of co-operators outdo groups with a low percentage of co-operators in between-group competition. People who are more prone to high levels of empathy-based guilt may be likely to suffer from anxiety and depression; however, they are also more likely to cooperate and behave altruistically. This suggests that guilt-proneness may not always be beneficial at the level of the individual, or within-group competition, but highly beneficial in between-group competition. [citation needed]

Other theoriesEdit

Another common notion is that guilt is assigned by social processes, such as a jury trial (i. e., that it is a strictly legal concept). Thus, the ruling of a jury that O.J. Simpson or Julius Rosenberg was "guilty" or "not innocent" is taken as an actual judgment by the whole society that they must act as if they were so. By corollary, the ruling that such a person is "not guilty" may not be so taken, due to the asymmetry in the assumption that one is assumed innocent until proven guilty, and prefers to take the risk of freeing a guilty party over convicting innocents. Still others—often, but not always, theists of one type or another—believe that the origin of guilt comes from violating universal principles of right and wrong. In most instances, people who believe this also acknowledge that even though there is proper guilt from doing 'wrong' instead of doing 'right,' people endure all sorts of guilty feelings which do not stem from violating universal moral principles.

Collective guiltEdit

Template:Essay Collective guilt (or group guilt) is the unpleasant and often emotional reaction that results among a group of individuals when it is perceived that the group illegitimately harmed members of another group. It is often the result of “sharing a social identity with others whose actions represent a threat to the positivity of that identity.”[23] Different intergroup inequalities can result in collective guilt, such as receiving unearned benefits and privileges or inflicting more extreme forms of harm on an out-group (including genocide). Individuals are generally motivated to avoid collective guilt in order to maintain a positive social identity. There are many ways of decreasing collective guilt, such as denying harm or justifying actions. Collective guilt can also lead to positive outcomes, such as promoting intergroup reconciliation and reducing negative attitudes towards the out-group.[citation needed]

There are several causes of collective guilt: salient group identity, collective responsibility, and perception of unjust in-group actions. In order for an individual to experience collective guilt, he must identify himself as a part of the in-group. “This produces a perceptual shift from thinking of oneself in terms of ‘I’ and ‘me’ to ‘us’ or ‘we’.”[23] Only when an individual is salient with the in-group can he or she perceive responsibility for the harmful actions of the group, past and present. In addition to in-group salience, an individual will only feel collective guilt if he or she views the in-group as responsible for the harmful actions done to the out-group. For instance, in two studies by the American Mosaic Project, racial inequality in the United States was framed as either “Black Disadvantage” or “White Privilege.” When the term “black disadvantage” was used to describe racial inequality, white participants felt less collectively responsible for the harm done to the out-group, which lessened collective guilt. In comparison, when “white privilege” was used, white participants felt more collectively responsible for the harm done, which increased collective guilt.[citation needed] .

Lastly, an individual has to believe the actions caused by the in-group were unjustifiable, indefensible, and unforgivable. If an individual can justify the actions of the in-group, this will lessen collective guilt. Only when an individual views the in-group actions as reprehensible will that individual feel collective guilt. Collective guilt is not only a result of feeling empathy for the out-group. It can also be caused by self-conscious emotion that stems from the questioning of the morality of the in-group.[citation needed]

There are various methods of reducing collective guilt. Some of these methods are denying the in-group’s harmful actions, denying responsibility, claiming actions by the in-group were just, focusing on positive aspects caused by the harmful action, and pointing out positive things in other areas to counterbalance the harm. First, by denying the in-group’s harmful actions, or downplaying the severity of the harm, the effect of collective guilt is lessened. If the individual or group can neglect to observe the harm caused by their actions, either consciously or unconsciously, then the individual will not feel collective guilt. If a person does not feel that the in-group is responsible for the harm caused by actions, collective guilt will be lessened. Additionally, if a person believes that only individuals are responsible for their own actions, and not a collective group, then they can deny the existence of collective responsibility, thereby reducing feelings of collective guilt. An individual can rationalize the actions of the in-group. If the individual believes that there were just reasons for the harm inflicted, collective guilt is likely to be reduced. For instance, out-group dehumanization is one effective means towards justifying the in-group’s actions. By focusing on the positive aspects of the in-group’s actions rather than the harmful effects, collective guilt can be reduced. For instance, an individual or group may choose to focus on the benefits of high levels of production and consumption, rather than on its harmful effects on the environment.[citation needed]

Cultural viewsEdit

Traditional Japanese society, Korean society and Chinese culture[24] are sometimes said to be "shame-based" rather than "guilt-based", in that the social consequences of "getting caught" are seen as more important than the individual feelings or experiences of the agent (see the work of Ruth Benedict). The same has been said of Ancient Greek society, a culture where, in Bruno Snell's words, if "honour is destroyed the moral existence of the loser collapses."[25]

This may lead to more of a focus on etiquette than on ethics as understood in Western civilization, leading some[attribution needed] in Western civilizations to question why the word ethos was adapted from Ancient Greek with such vast differences in cultural norms. Christianity and Islam inherit most notions of guilt from Judaism, Persian, and Roman ideas, mostly as interpreted through Augustine, who adapted Plato's ideas to Christianity. The Latin word for guilt is culpa, a word sometimes seen in law literature, for instance in mea culpa meaning "my fault (guilt)."

EtymologyEdit

Guilt, from O.E. gylt "crime, sin, fault, fine, debt,", derived from O.E. gieldan "to pay for, debt." The mistaken use for "sense of guilt" is first recorded 1690. "Guilt by association" is first recorded in 1941. "Guilty" is from O.E. gyltig, from gylt.

Dealing with guiltEdit

Guilt can sometimes be remedied by punishment (a common action and advised or required in many legal and moral codes), by forgiveness (as in transformative justice), or by sincere remorse (as with confession in Catholicism or restorative justice). Guilt can also be remedied through cognition, the understanding that the source of the guilty feelings was illogical or irrelevant. Law does not usually accept the agent's self-punishment, but some ancient codes did so: in Athens the accused was permitted to propose his or her own remedy, which might in fact be a reward, while the accuser proposed another, and the jury chose between. This forced the accused to effectively bet on his support in the community - as Socrates did when he proposed "room and board in the town hall" as his fate. He lost, and drank hemlock, a poison, as advised by his accuser.


See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Guilt." Encyclopedia of Psychology. 2nd ed. Ed. Bonnie R. Strickland. Gale Group, Inc., 2001. eNotes.com. 2006. 31 December 2007
  2. Leslie J. Shapiro, LICSW. Pathological guilt: A persistent yet overlooked treatment factor in obsessive-compulsive disorder —. Aacp.com. URL accessed on 27 November 2012.
  3. Sigmund Freud, On Metapsychology (PFL 11)p. 390-1
  4. Catherine Belsey, Shakespeare in Theory and Practice (2008) p. 25
  5. Alice Miller, The Drama of Being a Child (1995) p. 99-100
  6. Parrott, p. 158-9
  7. Buber M (May 1957). Guilt and guilt feelings. Psychiatry 20 (2): 114–29.
  8. Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (London 1946) p. 409-10
  9. Fenichelp. 496
  10. Freud, p. 393
  11. Eric Berne, A Layman's Guide to Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis (Penguin 1976) p. 191
  12. The Pursuit of Health, June Bingham & Norman Tamarkin, M.D., Walker Press
  13. Fenichel, p. 165 and p. 293
  14. Nelissen, R. M. A., & Zeelenberg, M. (2009). When guilt evokes self-punishment: Evidence for the existence of a dobby effect. Emotion, 9(1), 118-122. doi:10.1037/a0014540
  15. Morten Birket-Smith; Millon, Theodore; Erik Simonsen; Davis, Roger E. (2002). "11. Psychopathy and the Five-Factor Model of Personality, Widiger and Lynam" Psychopathy: Antisocial, Criminal, and Violent Behavior, 173–7, New York: The Guilford Press.
  16. Kosson, D.S., C. S., Forth, A. E., Salekin, R. T., Hare, R. D., Krischer, M. K., & Sevecke, K (2013). Factor structure of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) in adolescent females.. Psychological Assessment.
  17. Hare, R.D., T.J. Hare (1991). Psychopathy and the DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Journal Of Abnormal Psychology.
  18. Neal, T.S., M. Sellbom (2012). ). Examining the factor structure of the Hare Self-Report Psychopathy Scale. Journal Of Personality Assessment,.
  19. Hare, R.D., S.D. Harpur (1991). Psychopathy and the DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Journal Of Abnormal Psychology.
  20. Hare, R.D., S.D. Harpur (1991). Psychopathy and the DSM-IV criteria for antisocial personality disorder. Journal Of Abnormal Psychology.
  21. Kosson, D.S., Neumann, C. S., Forth, A. E., Salekin, R. T., Hare, R. D., Krischer, M. K., & Sevecke, K. (2013). ). Factor structure of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version (PCL:YV) in adolescent females.. Psychological Assessment,.
  22. Pallanti S, Quercioli L (August 2000). Shame and psychopathology. CNS Spectr 5 (8): 28–43.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Branscombe, Nyla R.; Bertjan Doosje (2004). Collective Guilt: International Perspectives, Cambridge University Press.
  24. Bill Brugger, China, Liberation and Transformation (1981) p. 18-19
  25. Quoted in M. I. Finley, The World of Odysseus (1967) p. 136

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