Participants recalled instances when they felt vicariously ashamed or guilty for another's wrongdoing and rated their appraisals of the event and resulting motivations. The study tested aspects of social association that uniquely predict vicarious shame and guilt. Results suggest that the experience of vicarious shame and vicarious guilt are distinguishable. Vicarious guilt was predicted by one's perceived interdependence with the wrongdoer (e.g., high interpersonal interaction), an appraisal of control over the event, and a motivation to repair the other person's wrongdoing. Vicarious shame was predicted by the relevance of the event to a shared social identity with the wrongdoer, an appraisal of self-image threat, and a motivation to distance from the event. Implications for intergroup behavior and emotion are discussed.
Lickel, Brian, Toni Schmader, Mathew Curtis, Marchelle Barquissau, and Daniel Ames. "Vicarious Shame and Guilt." Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 8, no. 2 (April 1, 2005): 145-57.
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