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Examining a model of self-conscious emotions : the relationship of physical self-perception and shame and guilt proneness with appraisals in the experience of body-related shame and guilt

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Title: Examining a model of self-conscious emotions : the relationship of physical self-perception and shame and guilt proneness with appraisals in the experience of body-related shame and guilt
Author: Brune, Sara Marlene
Degree Master of Arts - MA
Program Human Kinetics
Copyright Date: 2011
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2011-10-18
Abstract: Self-conscious emotions such as shame and guilt are powerful emotions that can influence an individual’s behaviours and cognitions in many daily activities. These emotions can function as motivators, resulting in increased effort or change of action to reduce or avoid feeling the emotion again. Although considerable research exists regarding self-conscious emotions, little has been done to examine these emotions in relation to the body (Sabiston, Brunet, Kowalski, Wilson, Mack, & Crocker, 2010). Using Tracy and Robins’ (2004) model of self-conscious emotions, the purpose of this study was to examine (a) physical self-concept (PSC) and shame and guilt proneness as predictors of body-related shame and guilt and (b) the mediating role of specific attributions on the relationship in (a). Based on the model, it was hypothesized that shame would be related to stable, global, and uncontrollable attributions whereas guilt would be related to unstable, specific and controllable attributions. These attributions would mediate any effect of physical self-concept, shame proneness, and guilt proneness on body-related shame and guilt. Female participants (N = 284; Mean age = 20.6 ± 1.9 yrs) completed measures of PSC and shame and guilt proneness before reading a hypothetical scenario designed to elicit a negative body-related emotional response, followed by assessment of state shame and guilt and attributions. Shame proneness and PSC were significant predictors of body shame (β = .49; β = -.11) and guilt (β = .41; β = -.14). Control attributions mediated the relationship of PSC with shame and guilt and shame-proneness with body shame. Global attributions mediated the relationship of shame proneness with body shame. Control (β = -.16), stability (β = .16), and global (β = .20) attributions were significant predictors of body guilt, while global (β = .30) and control (β = -.19) attributions were significant predictors of body shame. The study provides partial support for Tracy and Robins’ model for predicting shame, but little support for predicting guilt.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/38053
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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