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Cross-cultural Continuities and Discontinuities in Shame, Guilt, and Pride: A Study of Children Residing in Japan, Korea and the USA

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In a study of 144 Japanese, 180 Korean, and 688 US children, grades 3–6, differential item functioning analysis supported the cross-cultural equivalence of the TOSCA-C measure of shame, guilt, and pride. Substantial differences were observed in the mean levels of shame, guilt and pride, with Japanese children scoring highest on shame, Korean children scoring highest on guilt, and US children scoring highest on pride. The pattern of correlations, however, was more similar than different across cultures. In all groups, shame-proneness was positively correlated with aggression-relevant constructs, whereas guilt-proneness was associated with a tendency to take responsibility for failures and transgressions.
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Cross-cultural Continuities and Discontinuities in Shame, Guilt, and Pride:
A Study of Children Residing in Japan, Korea and the USA
Emi Furukawaa; June Tangneyb; Fumiko Higashibarac
a Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Promotion Corporation, Okinawa, Japan b George
Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA c Seitoku University, Chiba, Japan
First published on: 02 February 2011
To cite this Article Furukawa, Emi , Tangney, June and Higashibara, Fumiko(2011) 'Cross-cultural Continuities and
Discontinuities in Shame, Guilt, and Pride: A Study of Children Residing in Japan, Korea and the USA', Self and
Identity,, First published on: 02 February 2011 (iFirst)
To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/15298868.2010.512748
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2010.512748
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Cross-cultural Continuities and Discontinuities in
Shame, Guilt, and Pride: A Study of Children
Residing in Japan, Korea and the USA
EMI FURUKAWA
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Promotion Corporation,
Okinawa, Japan
JUNE TANGNEY
George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
FUMIKO HIGASHIBARA
Seitoku University, Chiba, Japan
In a study of 144 Japanese, 180 Korean, and 688 US children, grades 3–6,
differential item functioning analysis supported the cross-cultural equivalence of the
TOSCA-C measure of shame, guilt, and pride. Substantial differences were observed
in the mean levels of shame, guilt and pride, with Japanese children scoring highest
on shame, Korean children scoring highest on guilt, and US children scoring highest
on pride. The pattern of correlations, however, was more similar than different
across cultures. In all groups, shame-proneness was positively correlated with
aggression-relevant constructs, whereas guilt-proneness was associated with a
tendency to take responsibility for failures and transgressions.
Keywords: Culture; Guilt; Pride; Self-conscious emotions; Shame.
Shame, guilt, and pride are self-conscious emotions, feelings we experience in
reference to ‘‘the self’’ (Tangney, 1991). In the face of failure, transgression or
accomplishment, we often turn toward ourselves, reflecting, evaluating and judging
our actions, abilities and who we are. With such contemplation, we experience
emotions about the self—feeling ashamed, guilty or proud. The self-conscious
emotions of shame, guilt and pride appear to be universally recognized and
experienced (Matsumoto, Kudoh, Scherer, & Wallbott, 1988; Mauro, Sato, &
Tucker, 1992; Tracy & Robins, 2004, 2007a; Wallbott & Scherer, 1988), but the
nature of the experiences are thought by many to be profoundly influenced by culture.
In this paper, we empirically examine similarities and differences in shame, guilt,
and pride assessed in children residing in the United States, Korea, and Japan to
Received 29 September 2009; accepted 23 July 2010; first published online 0000
Correspondence should be addressed to: Emi Furukawa, Okinawa Institute of Science and
Technology, Human Developmental Neurobiology Unit, 7542 Onna, Onna-son, Okinawa 904-0411,
Japan. E-mail: furukawa@oist.jp
Self and Identity, 00: 000–000, 0000, iFirst article
http://www.psypress.com/sai
ISSN: 1529-8868 print/1529-8876 online
DOI: 10.1080/15298868.2010.512748
Ó2011 Psychology Press, an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa business
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address four questions. Question 1 is a practical question. Can scenario-based
measures of self-conscious emotions be used with confidence across cultures?
1
Scenario-based methods (Reimer, 1995; Tangney, Wagner, Burggraf, Gramzow, &
Fletcher, 1990) are most frequently used in research on individual differences in
shame, guilt, and pride. Tangney (1996) argued that it is difficult if not impossible to
reliably distinguish between shame and guilt using conventional global self-report
methods (e.g., ‘‘I always feel guilt’’). To assess guilt about behavior, distinct from
shame about self, it is necessary to assess emotions embedded in specific situations—
yet it is precisely the introduction of specific situations that renders scenario-based
methods vulnerable to cultural effects.
Question 2 is more conceptual. What substantively do analyses of a scenario-
based measure reveal about cross-cultural continuities and discontinuities in the
nature of shame, guilt, and pride experiences? Question 3 pertains to means. Are
there cultural differences, on average, in children’s propensity to experience shame,
guilt, and pride? Question 4 pertains to correlates. Does the propensity to experience
shame, guilt, and pride have similar implications for adjustment and behavior across
cultures? In the current study, we focused on one domain of theoretical and applied
importance—the externalizing spectrum (Krueger, 2002)—e.g., externalization of
blame, anger, aggression and other related problem behaviors.
What’s the Difference between Shame and Guilt?
Benedict (1947) coined the terms ‘‘shame-culture’’ and ‘‘guilt-culture’’ in her analysis
of mid-century Japan and the USA, respectively. Benedict and others (e.g., Ausubel,
1955; Mead, 1952; Triandis, 1988) defined shame as an external (public, socially-
driven) emotion, and guilt as an internal (private, self-driven) emotion. Smith,
Webster, Parrott, and Eyer (2002) have presented data showing that when feeling
shame, people are more concerned with others’ negative evaluations than when
experiencing guilt. However, other studies of US children and adults show that most
episodes of both shame and guilt occur in public contexts, about behavior known to
others (Tangney, Miller, Flicker, & Barlow, 1996). Actual audience awareness does
not vary as a function of shame and guilt (Tangney, Stuewig, & Mashek, 2007; Tracy
& Robins, 2006).
Much recent theory and research on shame and guilt has adopted Lewis’s (1971)
self versus behavior distinction (Tangney et al., 1996; Tangney & Dearing, 2002a;
Tracy & Robins, 2006, 2007b). When people feel shame, they feel bad about the self
(‘‘How could Ihave done that?’’) When people feel guilt, they feel bad about a
specific behavior (‘‘How could I have done that?’’). Research employing a range of
methods has confirmed this distinction between shame and guilt (Lindsay-Hartz,
1984; Niedenthal, Tangney, & Gavanski, 1994; Tangney, 1992; Tangney & Dearing,
2002a; Tracy & Robins, 2006, 2007b; Wicker, Payne, & Morgan, 1983). Wolf,
Cohen, Panter, and Insko (2010) have argued that the self versus behavior
distinction between shame and guilt is not incompatible with the public versus
private conceptualization and both contribute to the differential constructs.
Why Should Culture Matter When Considering Shame, Guilt, and Pride?
Many theorists associate shame with collectivism and guilt with individualism (e.g.,
Benedict, 1947; El-Jamil, 2003; Hofstede, 1980; Miller, 2002; Ratanasiripong, 1997;
Triandis, 1989). Others have questioned the contrast between shame-oriented Eastern
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(especially Japanese) cultures and guilt-oriented Western cultures (Creighton, 1990;
Hamaguchi, 1985). When considering contemporary (self-behavior) conceptualiza-
tions of shame and guilt, there is good theoretical reason to expect differences across
culture. Shame and guilt are emotions experienced with reference to self. To the extent
that the very nature of the self differs across cultures and nations (Kitayama, Markus,
& Matsumoto, 1995; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Triandis, 1989), one might expect
parallel differences in the experience of ‘‘self-conscious’’ emotions (Goetz & Keltner,
2007; Kitayama, Mesquita, & Karasawa, 2006; Mesquita, 2001).
Specifically, it has been noted that people in the USA tend to define themselves in
terms of their unique characteristics and abilities (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). In
pursuit of high self-esteem, they focus on information and engage in activities that
allow them to affirm their innate and stable positive attributes (Heine et al., 2001). In
fact, most people in the USA believe they are better than average (Baumeister, Tice,
& Hutton, 1989). This inclination to view the self in a positive light is incompatible
with feelings of shame.
In contrast, people in Japan and Korea are more inclined to define themselves in
terms of their social roles and relationships (Hyangsook, 2002; Kashima et al., 1995;
Markus & Kitayama, 1998). Individuals’ sense of self appears largely influenced by
others’ opinions (Takata, 2001; Weisz, Rothbaum, & Blackburn, 1984). Japanese
people are sensitive to, and are more apt to internalize, criticisms (Kanagawa, Cross,
& Markus, 2001; Markus & Kitayama, 1994). Situations are framed to foster
self-criticism, instead of self-enhancement (Kitayama, Markus, Matsumoto, &
Norasakkunkit, 1997). From this perspective, one might expect feelings of shame to
be more prevalent in Asian cultures than Western cultures.
Another reason for expecting cultural differences in the experience and functions
of self-conscious emotions is that there are differences in the degree to which such
emotions are viewed as desirable. Self-criticism is encouraged in many Asian cultures
as it provides an opportunity to reflect on one’s weakness and improve the self to
meet shared social standards (Compos, Keltner, Beck, Gonzaga, & John, 2007;
Heine et al., 2001; Heine, Lehman, Markus, & Kitayama, 1999; Norasakkunkit,
2003). In fact, shame and guilt have been found to be more desirable in countries
with more collectivistic values, such as Tamang versus Brahman and the USA (Cole,
Bruschi, & Tamang, 2002), Spain versus the Netherlands (Rodriguez Mosquera,
Manstead, & Fischer, 2000), China and Taiwan versus Australia and the USA (Eid
& Diener, 2001), and Chinese-speaking and Japanese-speaking versus English
speaking (Moore, Romney, Hsia, & Rusch, 1999). In contrast, pride is perceived as
less desirable by people in collectivistic cultures (Eid & Diener, 2001; Rodriguez
et al., 2000; Stipek, 1998). To the degree that shame is more normative and desirable
in Asian cultures, shame may not be associated with the same psychosocial problems
as has been observed in Western contexts.
Extant Research on Cross-cultural Differences in the Self-conscious Emotions
To date, the vast majority of self-conscious emotions research has been conducted in
‘‘Western’’ cultures, predominantly the USA. Most studies investigating cultural
differences in the self-conscious emotions have compared Asian Americans and
Caucasian Americans. The propensity to feel shame is higher among Asian
American students and adults, compared to their non-Asian American counterparts
(Lutwak, Razzino, & Ferrari, 1998; Miller, 2002; Ratanasiripong, 1997). Findings
have been mixed regarding cultural differences in guilt-proneness within US samples
Shame, Guilt and Pride 3
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(Lutwak et al., 1998; Miller, 2002; Ratanasiripong, 1997). Cultural differences in the
propensity to experience pride are largely unexplored. Lieber and Yu (2003) reported
that, when describing achievement stories, Taiwanese students were less likely to
report feelings of pride compared to American students.
Few studies have moved beyond a consideration of mean differences in the
propensity to experience shame, guilt, and pride, to consider the possibility of
cultural differences in the correlates of self-conscious emotions. Among college
students from Peru, Belgium and Hungary, Fontaine et al. (2006) found that
experiences of shame and guilt are highly consistent across cultures (see also
Breugelmans & Poortinga, 2006). In studies of Asian Americans and non-Asian
Americans, shame-proneness was similarly associated with anger (Bruno, 2000),
depression and anxiety (Hyangsook, 2002), and self-doubts (Lutwak et al., 1998).
Findings are mixed regarding the correlates of guilt. El-Jamil (2003) reported an
inverse relationship between guilt-proneness and hostility in a US college sample, but
no such relation among Lebanese college students. Lutwak, Panish, Ferrari, and
Razzino (2001) found similar null relationships between guilt-proneness and self-
doubt in samples of Asian-, European-, Latin-, and African American students.
In sum, the empirical literature on self-conscious emotions across culture is
surprisingly limited. Most studies have contrasted ethnic groups residing in a single
cultural context—typically Asian Americans and Caucasian Americans in the USA.
The focus has been on cultural differences in the propensity to experience self-
conscious emotions—e.g., mean differences. Evidence suggests people from Asian
and other collectivistic cultures demonstrate higher proneness to shame than people
from individualistic cultures. Little is known about cross-cultural differences in the
correlates of shame, guilt, and pride.
The Current Study
We examined cross-cultural differences in mean levels of self-conscious emotions and
their psychosocial correlates among children residing in Japan, Korea, and the USA.
Our focus on children was a matter of convenience. We were fortunate to have an
opportunity to gather data from children residing in Japan and Korea, resulting in
samples similar in age and socioeconomic status (SES) to two existing samples of US
children. We chose for this study the two cultures most likely to evidence differences
in self-conscious emotions. Since Benedict’s seminal work (1947) many scholars have
shown interest in these particular cultures, often generalizing the Japan–USA
distinction to Asian versus Western cultures. However, recent cross-cultural studies
point to the unique values existing in various Asian countries (Oyserman, Coon, &
Kemmelmeier, 2002). Thus, we aimed, in addition, to extend the cross-cultural
literature on self-conscious emotions by exploring the possibility of differences
between two distinct Asian cultures—Korea and Japan.
First, we used differential item functioning (DIF) analysis to empirically evaluate
whether the Test of Self-Conscious Affect for Children (TOSCA-C; Tangney,
Wagner, Burggraf, Gramzow, & Fletcher, 1990) measure of shame, guilt, and pride
functions equivalently across these cultures, or whether particular items behave
differently owing, for example, to culture-specific meanings. Second, we drew on the
DIF analyses to draw more substantive conclusions about cross-cultural continuities
and discontinuities in the nature of shame, guilt, and pride experiences. Is there
evidence of cross-cultural variability in: (a) the types of situations that elicit self-
conscious emotions; (b) the phenomenology of the emotions themselves; or (c) a
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more complex interaction between emotion-eliciting situation and emotion
phenomenology?
Third, we examined cultural differences, on average, in children’s propensity to
experience shame, guilt, and pride. We expected Japanese and Korean children
to demonstrate higher levels of shame and guilt, and a lower level of pride relative to
US children. Self-criticism and negative evaluations of self are more normative in
Japan and Korea whereas US culture tends to value positive evaluations of self.
Similar gender differences were anticipated across nations; females were expected to
score higher on shame and guilt than males regardless of the culture, as found in
Western samples (Tangney & Dearing, 2002a, 2002b). Regarding pride, we expected
US children to demonstrate more pride than Japanese and Korean counterparts,
owing to the emphasis on individual achievement in the USA, and the emphasis on
criticism and improvement in Japanese and Korean cultures.
Fourth, as an initial step in determining whether there are cultural differences in
the psychosocial implications of self-conscious emotions, we examined whether
shame, guilt, and pride are differentially related to the externalizing domain (e.g.,
externalization of blame, anger, aggression), as a function of culture. We chose this as
the focus because: (a) the positive link between shame and anger is among the most
robust in studies conducted in the USA (Tangney et al., 2007); (b) rich theoretical
accounts of dynamics between shame and anger/aggression exist (Lewis, 1971, 1987;
Scheff, 1987; Tangney & Dearing, 2002a)—it is a clinically recognized, clinically
significant phenomenon; and (c) there is ample theoretical reason to expect cross-
national differences in the degree to which shame is adaptive versus maladaptive
(Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Tangney & Dearing, 2002a) in a manner most likely to
be observed in the domains of anger arousal, anger management, and aggression.
We hypothesized that shame would be less strongly associated with aggression-
relevant constructs among Japanese and Korean children, relative to children in the
USA. To the degree that shame is more normative and socially desirable in Japan
and Korea, shame may even be adaptive, facilitating group harmony. In the self-
enhancing US culture, shame-proneness appears to have few benefits at the
individual level, as indicated by a large body of empirical research (see Tangney
et al., 2007, for a review). The finding of a positive relationship between shame and
some positive aspect of emotional, social, or behavioral adjustment in a culture other
than the USA would be remarkable. We expected consistent negative correlations
between guilt and indices of externalization across the three cultures. In past studies
in the USA, guilt has been inversely related to aggression-relevant cognitions (e.g.,
externalization of blame), emotions (e.g., anger), and behavior (e.g., aggression).
There is no theoretical reason to expect differential relations for Japanese and
Korean children.
Regarding pride, past studies of related constructs suggest that it is socially
desirable in US culture. Pride in individual accomplishments may be seen as less
appropriate or desirable in Japan and Korea where self-criticism and modesty are
emphasized. Consequently, we expected that pride would be positively associated
with maladjustment, including aggression-relevant constructs in Japan and Korea,
whereas this link would be attenuated or reversed in the individualistic culture of
the USA.
We expected similar gender differences in the self-conscious emotions across
Japanese, Korean, and US children. Previous studies using Western samples have
shown that females of all ages are more likely to experience shame and guilt
compared to their male counterparts (Tangney & Dearing, 2002a). In a similar vein,
Shame, Guilt and Pride 5
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Japanese and Korean females were expected to be more guilt- and shame-prone than
Japanese and Korean males respectively, since similar gender roles and expectations
exist in Japan and Korea. Exploratory analyses were conducted for the gender
differences in the propensity to experience pride.
Method
Participants
The Japanese sample consisted of 74 third-grade children (25 male, 49 female) and 70
fourth-grade children (25 male, 45 female) attending a private school in urban Tokyo.
As individual level demographic data were not available, demographic information
on the study body was provided by the school. Japanese parents’ education level
ranged from high school graduate to post-graduate, and socioeconomic status ranged
from working class to upper-middle class. When the school year commenced, all
third-grade children were age 8; fourth-grade children were age 9.
The Korean sample consisted of 65 fourth-grade children (28 males, 37 females)
and 115 fifth-grade children (58 males, 57 females) attending public schools in three
urban areas. Korean parents’ education level ranged from high-school graduate to
college graduate. When the school year commenced, all fourth-grade children were
age 10; fifth-grade children were age 11.
The US sample, drawn from two sets of data gathered previously, consisted of 115
fourth-grade children (56 males, 59 females), 470 fifth-grade children (215 males, 255
females), and 103 sixth-grade children (52 males, 51 females). The mean age was 9.65
years for fourth grade, 10.6 years for fifth grade, and 11.65 years for sixth-grade
children. Participants attended public schools in an ethnically and socioeconomically
diverse suburb of Washington, DC; 60% of the sample was White, 31% Black and
9% other. Most were from low- to middle-income families, the typical parent had
attained a high-school education and some college. US data were collected in 1990–
1991, Japanese data in 2001–2002, and Korean data 2002–2003.
Measures and Procedure
Measures were developed in English, and translated for this study into Japanese and
Korean by native Japanese and Korean experimenters. To ensure accuracy of
translation, native experimenters who had not seen the English versions translated
back from Japanese and Korean into English. The results were compared and
modifications were made as necessary. Measures were distributed by classroom
teachers who emphasized the anonymous, non-evaluative, and voluntary nature
of participation. Table 1 presents the descriptive statistics and reliabilities
(Cronbach’s a) for the samples of Japanese, Korean and US children.
The Test of Self-Conscious Affect for Children (TOSCA-C; Tangney et al., 1990)
was used to measure children’s propensity to experience shame, guilt, and pride.
Questions have been raised regarding the comparability of translations of ‘‘shame’’
and ‘‘guilt’’ across languages (e.g., Bedford, 2004; Li, Wang, & Fischer, 2004) and
people often use the English terms ‘‘shame’’ and ‘‘guilt’’ interchangeably, however
the TOSCA-C does not use the terms ‘‘shame’’ and ‘‘guilt’’ directly in assessment of
these emotion dispositions. Rather, emotions are assessed via phenomenological
descriptions (see Tangney & Dearing, 2002a, for discussion of the validity and
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reliability of various shame and guilt measures).
2
By using phenomenological des-
criptions of shame and guilt, rather than the emotion labels, we largely circumvented
the problem that the words themselves may have different meanings—the problem of
linguistic non-equivalence. The words used in our phenomenological descriptions
may vary somewhat in translation. But any confound of culture with linguistics
remains at the item level. It is unlikely that linguistic biases would be consistent
across multiple varying phenomenological descriptions.
The TOSCA-C is composed of brief scenarios depicting common situations. Ten
negative scenarios describe failures or transgressions, each followed by shame, guilt
and externalization of blame responses; five positive scenarios describe individual
accomplishments followed by shame, guilt, alpha pride (pride in self), beta pride
(pride in behavior), and externalization of blame responses. Children rate on a 5-
point scale (from not at all likely to very likely) their likelihood of reacting in each
TABLE 1 Descriptive Statistics and Reliabilities (Cronbach’s a) in Samples of
Japanese, Korea, and US Children
Country NMeanSDa
TOSCA-C
Shame Japan 141 2.94 .64 .80
Korea 179 2.69 .53 .75
USA 688 2.75 .64 .78
Guilt Japan 141 3.91 .63 .83
Korea 179 4.07 .60 .87
USA 688 3.84 .63 .81
Pride Japan 141 2.99 .66 .74
Korea 179 3.31 .59 .71
USA 688 3.88 .57 .68
Externalization of blame Japan 141 2.51 .62 .80
Korea 179 2.35 .46 .70
USA 688 2.84 .53 .66
CIA
a
/ARI
b
Anger Japan
a
141 2.55 .61 .91
Korea
a
180 2.72 .45 .83
USA
a
359 2.91 .45 .84
USA
b
299 3.79 .68 .89
Devereux
c
/CBCL
d
Aggressive behavior Japan
c
144 1.59 .41 .86
Korea
c
180 1.38 .48 .90
USA
d
674 1.25 .40 .96
Total problem score Japan
c
144 1.37 .17 .86
Korea
c
180 1.27 .02 .94
USA
d
673 1.21 .24 .97
Notes:
a
CIA was administered in Japanese and Korean samples, and in the US sample, CIA
was administered to a subsample of 359 children.
b
In the US sample, ARI was administered to
a subsample of 299 children.
c
Devereux was administered in Japanese and Korean samples.
d
TCBCL was administered in US sample.
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manner indicated. For example, a scenario reads, ‘‘You and your best friend get into
an argument.’’ Children rate associated responses including: (a) ‘‘I’d probably feel
real lousy about myself’’ (Shame); (b) ‘‘I would feel sorry and feel like I shouldn’t have
done it’’ (Guilt); and (c) ‘‘It was my friend’s fault’’ (Externalization of Blame).
Another scenario reads: ‘‘You get your report card and tell your best friend you made
the honor roll. You find out your friend did not.’’ Respondents rate: (a) ‘‘I’d feel bad
because I was bragging about it and I made my friend feel bad’’ (Guilt); (b) ‘‘I’d feel
good about myself for being such a good student’’ (Alpha Pride); (c) ‘‘I’d be proud of
my grades’’ (Beta Pride); and (d) ‘‘My friend might think I’m a show-off’’ (Shame).
Alpha and beta pride scores were highly correlated (USA r¼.62; Japan r¼.64;
Korea r¼.57), and so combined into a single Pride scale to enhance reliability.
3
The Children’s Inventory of Anger – Short Form (CIA; Finch, Saylor, & Nelson,
1987) is a 21-item self-report measure assessing anger, the emotion, not aggressive
behavior, per se. In the current samples, the Japanese and Korean versions of the
CIA were reliable. A subsample of 299 US children also completed the Anger
Response Inventory – Children (ARI-C; Tangney et al., 1996) a scenario-based self-
report measure assessing anger in response to 20 common situations, each rated on a
5-point scale, with demonstrated reliability and validity (Tangney et al., 1996).
Teacher’s Child Behavior Checklist (TCBCL; Edelbrock & Achenbach, 1984) was
completed by US teachers (rating multiple symptoms on a 3-point scale) yielding a
Total Problem score and subscores on several internalizing and externalizing
problem areas. The Aggressive Behavior scale (25 items) included items such as:
‘‘Explosive and unpredictable behavior’’ and ‘‘Gets in many fights.’’ Internal
consistency of the TCBCL’s Total Score and the Aggressive Behavior subscale
indicated good reliability. Due to time constraints, it was not possible for Japanese
and Korean teachers to complete the TCBCL. Because the purpose of teacher ratings
was not to compare mean frequencies of behavior problems, but rather to evaluate
cultural differences in the correlates of shame, guilt and pride, the shorter Devereux
Behavior Rating Scale – School Form (Devereux; Naglieri, LeBuffe, & Pfeiffer, 1993)
was used to measure aggressive and problem behavior among the Japanese and
Korean children. Teachers in Japan and Korea rated children on items using a 3-
point scale. An Aggressive Behavior scale was created using seven content-relevant
items (e.g., ‘‘Became very upset or emotional if he/she did not get what he/she
wanted’’, ‘‘Expressed anger in a poorly controlled way’’). The Total Problem score
and Aggressive Behavior scale were reliable in both Japanese and Korean samples.
Results
Analysis of Differential Item Functioning (DIF): Evidence for the Cross-cultural
Equivalence of Japanese, Korean, and English Versions of the TOSCA-C?
Logistic regressions were conducted to examine uniform and non-uniform
differential item functioning (DIF) for the TOSCA-C in Japanese, Korean, and
US samples. DIF assesses the degree to which items function similarly for individuals
from distinct subpopulations. For each item, two types of deviation from
‘‘measurement invariance’’ were tested: uniform and non-uniform DIF. Uniform
DIF is present when members of one group score consistently higher (or lower) on
an item than members of another group, matched on level of construct, across all
levels of the construct. Uniform DIF would occur on a scenario-based measure, such
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as the TOSCA-C, if there were substantial cultural differences in the affective weight
of a given situation or response. For example, on the TOSCA-C, children are asked
to imagine: ‘‘Your report card isn’t as good as you wanted. You show it to your
mother when you get home.’’ If the affective weight (and shame-inducing power) of
this achievement-oriented failure situation differs substantially across cultures,
differential item functioning would be expected for the associated shame responses.
Uniform DIF is designed to detect such inter-group anomalies.
Non-uniform DIF is present when members of one group score consistently
higher (or lower) on an item than members of another group, matched on level of
construct, at some levels of the construct, but not others. Non-uniform DIF would
occur on a scenario-based measure under many circumstances. Most likely in cross-
cultural studies, non-uniform DIF could arise if an item or scenario is meaningful
and relevant for one cultural group as intended, but is unfamiliar or otherwise not
similarly interpreted in the other cultural group. For example, on the TOSCA-C
children are asked to imagine: ‘‘Your aunt is giving a big party. You are carrying
drinks to people and you spill one on the floor.’’ Colleagues familiar with Japanese
culture indicate that ‘‘parties’’ in the American sense are unlikely to take place at a
private home. Non-uniform DIF would occur if US children responded to the shame
and guilt items according to their true trait levels, but Japanese children rated the
shame and guilt items as ‘‘unlikely’’ because they couldn’t relate the situation, and
thus couldn’t imagine feeling shame or guilt. Cultural non-equivalence of the
scenario’s familiarity or relevance is one of a number of anomalies non-uniform DIF
is able to detect.
As a second example relevant to this study, non-uniform DIF would be expected
if particular components of a multidimensional construct are relevant in one culture,
but not another. For example, non-uniform DIF would occur if a particular
component of shame (e.g., the motivation to hide) were present in one group (e.g.,
US), but not another (e.g., Korean).
Results of the DIF analysis indicate that the TOSCA-C is psychometrically
invariant across groups. Of 220 pairs examined, only one comparison was
statistically significant, far less than would be expected by chance. In short, this
suggests that the TOSCA-C can be used with confidence to assess self-conscious
emotions in US, Japanese, and Korean cultural contexts.
Analysis of Means: Are there Cultural Differences in Proneness to Shame,
Guilt, and Pride?
Two-way analyses of co-variance (ANCOVAs) were conducted to examine the main
effects of Culture and Gender, and their interaction, controlling for age group, with
Shame, Guilt and Pride as the dependent variables (see Table 2). In no case did age
emerge as a statistically significant covariate.
4
There was a significant effect of
Culture for Shame, and the Gender by Culture interaction was not significant.
Regardless of gender, Japanese children scored higher on shame than Korean and
US children, who themselves did not differ, as indicated by Bonferroni post hoc
comparisons. There was also a significant main effect of Gender. As shown in
Table 2, females scored higher on shame across cultures.
Guilt similarly showed a significant main effect of Culture, and no Gender by
Culture interaction. In this case, Korean children scored higher on Guilt than US
children, regardless of gender. Japanese children were intermediate but did not differ
significantly from US or Korean children based on Bonferroni post hoc
Shame, Guilt and Pride 9
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comparisons. In addition, there was a main effect of Gender, with females scoring
higher than males across cultures.
Pride showed a significant effect of Culture, with no Gender by Culture
interaction. As anticipated, regardless of gender, US children scored highest on
Pride, Korean children intermediate, and Japanese children lowest. Bonferroni post
hoc tests indicated that all groups were significantly different from one another.
There was no main effect of Gender for Pride.
Analysis of Correlations: Do Cultures Differ in the Correlates of Self-conscious
Emotions?
Intercorrelations among shame, guilt, and pride. Table 3 presents the inter-
correlations of shame, guilt, and pride among Japanese, Korean, and US children.
5
As in previous studies of US college students, non-college adults, adolescents, and
middle-school children, shame and guilt were moderately correlated in the current
samples (Tangney & Dearing, 2002a). Positive bivariate correlations were observed
between guilt and pride in all groups; moreover, part correlations indicate that
proneness to ‘‘shame-free’’ guilt (the unique variance in guilt) was significantly
TABLE 2 Levels of Shame, Guilt, and Pride in Samples of Japanese, Korean, and
US Children
Country NM
a
Fp
Shame
Grade 1008 1.07 ns
Culture Japan 141 2.99 5.34 .01
Korea 179 2.66
USA 688 2.74
Gender Male 457 2.74 5.67 .05
Female 551 2.86
Culture 6Gender 2.51 ns
Guilt
Grade 1008 1.08 ns
Culture Japan 141 3.85 11.54 .00
Korea 179 4.10
USA 688 3.83
Gender Male 457 3.84 12.65 .00
Female 551 4.01
Culture 6Gender 2.05 ns
Pride
Grade 1008 0.58 ns
Culture Japan 141 3.04 139.94 .00
Korea 179 3.29
USA 688 3.88
Gender Male 457 3.42 0.40 ns
Female 551 3.39
Culture 6Gender 0.72 ns
Note:
a
Adjusted for grade.
10 E. Furukawa et al.
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correlated with pride in Korean and US samples.
6
Cultural differences in the
structure of self-conscious emotions were most evident for shame and pride. Shame
was positively correlated with pride in the Japanese sample, but no such relation was
observed among Korean and US children. When considering the unique variance in
shame (part correlations controlling for guilt), shame was positively related to pride
among Japanese children. In contrast, shame was modestly but significantly
negatively correlated with pride in the US sample.
Correlations of self-conscious emotions with externalizing dimensions. Our
primary interest was whether the psychological implications or functions of self-
conscious emotions differ by culture. Is the link between shame and anger/aggression
less pronounced among children immersed in Japanese and Korean culture? Table 4
presents the correlations of shame, guilt, and pride with aggression-relevant
cognition (externalization of blame), emotion (anger), and behavior (aggression),
and with an overall index of behavior problems.
Surprisingly, similar correlational patterns were observed for shame among
Japanese, Korean, and US children. Shame was largely positively associated with
aggression-relevant constructs in both Korean and US samples. Among Japanese
children, shame was positively associated with self-reports of anger and externaliza-
tion of blame, but unrelated to teachers’ reports of aggression and overall behavior
problems. In the face of failure or transgression, shame-prone children in all cultures
were inclined to blame others. In no case did we see an inhibitory effect of shame on
aggressive or other problem behavior.
Like shame, the correlates of guilt were similar in Japanese, Korean, and US
children. Regardless of culture, guilt appeared to have positive implications,
especially in terms of lower levels of externalization of blame. In addition, among
Korean and US children, guilt-proneness was negatively associated with teachers’
reports of aggression and other problem behaviors.
Pride was positively correlated with externalization of blame in all cultures,
and this relationship was most pronounced in the Japanese sample. Pride was
largely unrelated to anger, aggression and other problem behaviors, in all
samples.
TABLE 3 Correlations of Shame, Guilt, and Pride in Samples of Japanese,
Korean, and US Children
nShame (Part)
a
Guilt (Part)
a
Guilt
Japan 141 .39**
Korea 179 .34**
USA 688 .44**
Pride
Japan 141 .24**
b
(.23**
d
) .17* (.08)
Korea 179 .11 (7.01
e
) .32* (.30**)
USA 688 .02
c
(7.08*
e
) .20** (.21**)
Notes:*p5.05; **p5.01.
a
The coefficients presented for shame and guilt are part
correlations in which shame was factored out from guilt and vice versa.
b,c
A t-test indicated a
significant difference in the magnitude of correlations (p5.05).
d,e
A t-test indicated a
significant difference in the magnitude of correlations (p5.05).
Shame, Guilt and Pride 11
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TABLE 4 Correlations of Shame, Guilt, and Pride with Aggression Relevant Cognition, Emotion, and Behavior, and Overall Problem
Behavior in Samples of Japanese, Korean, and US Children
Anger Teacher rating
Externalization Aggressive behavior Total score
Country Nof blame CIA
a
ARI
b
Devereux
c
TCBCL
d
Devereux TCBCL
Shame Japan 141 .45** .25** .09 7.03
e
Korea 179 .28** .10 .17* .23**
f
USA 688 .34** .25** .18** .06 .10*
Guilt Japan 141 7.41** 7.15 7.00 7.02
g
Korea 179 7.40** 7.02 7.16* 7.25**
h
USA 688 7.29** 7.15** 7.14* 7.14** 7.15**
Pride Japan 141 .51**
i
.03 .08 .02
Korea 179 .22**
j
7.14 7.11 7.17*
USA 688 .28**
j
7.05 .10 .06 .08*
Notes:*p5.05; **p5.01. For shame and guilt, part correlations are presented (shame was factored out from guilt and vice versa).
a
In the US sample, CIA
was administered to a subsample of 359 children.
b
In the US sample, ARI was administered to a subsample of 299 children.
c
Devereux was administered in
Japanese and Korean samples.
d
TCBCL was administered in US sample.
e,f
A t-test indicated a significant difference in the magnitude of correlations
(p5.05).
g,h
A t-test indicated a significant difference in the magnitude of correlations (p5.05).
i,j
T-tests indicated the magnitude of correlation in the
Japanese sample was different from Korean and US samples’ correlations (p5.01).
12 E. Furukawa et al.
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Omnibus Test of Cross-cultural Correlates of the Self-conscious Emotions
Although the pattern of bivariate correlations was similar across samples of children
residing in the USA, Japan, and Korea, some statistically significant differences were
observed. Are these differences attributable to chance? As an omnibus test of the
degree to which the correlates of shame, guilt, and pride are invariant across culture
groups, we used Mplus to evaluate a series of nested models. In each case, a chi-
square difference test compared Model A in which critical path coefficients were
constrained to be equal across groups, with an identical Model B, where critical
paths were freed to be estimated separately by cultural group.
Relation between self-conscious emotions and externalization. We began with a
Model 0 in which no paths were constrained to be equal across groups and which
included: (a) the intercorrelations among self-conscious emotions (Table 3); (b) the
correlations of each self-conscious emotion to each anger-related outcome measure
(Table 4); and (c) the intercorrelations among externalizing measures (not of focal
interest, here).
7
We first examined whether the relation of shame to four measures of
externalization is invariant across countries by constraining those correlations to be
equal across groups (Model 1). The resulting model fitted well w
2
(8) ¼13.82, p¼.086,
with RMSEA ¼.058, SRMR ¼.038, and CFI ¼.995. Thus our primary hypothesis
was not borne out. There were no cross-cultural differences in the degree to which
shame is linked to anger and externalization.
Next, we added the constraint that guilt be related equivalently to the four
measures of externalization, across groups (Model 2). This model, too, fitted well
w
2
(16) ¼24.04, p¼.089, with RMSEA ¼.048, SRMR ¼.045, and CFI ¼.993, and
did not significantly differ from the Model 1, indicating that guilt was equivalently
related to anger and externalization across cultures.
Next, we added the parallel constraint for pride to externalization, across groups
(Model 3). This model, testing group invariance for all three self-conscious emotions,
was a poor fit to the data, w
2
(24) ¼50.31, p¼.0013, with RMSEA ¼.071,
SRMR ¼.070, and CFI ¼.977, significantly worse than Model 2, w
2
(8) ¼26.27,
p5.001. One modification index was greater than 10, suggesting that the path
between pride and externalization of blame be freed for Japan. This post hoc
suggested modification does not converge with any theoretical expectation, thus we
opted to not to retain Model 3.
Relations among self-conscious emotions: Test of group invariance. Next, we
modified Model 2 so that the intercorrelations among shame, guilt, and pride were
constrained to be equal across groups (Model 4). This model did not fit the data
particularly well, w
2
(22) ¼40.23, p¼.0102, with RMSEA ¼.062, SRMR ¼.060, and
CFI ¼.984, and was significantly worse than Model 2, w
2
(6) ¼16.185, p5.05. There
were, however, no modification indices greater than 10; the model was simply not a
particularly good fit. Thus we rejected Model 4 in favor of Model 2. There is
insufficient evidence to conclude that the intercorrelations among shame, guilt, and
pride are invariant across these three cultures, but no particular differences stand out.
Relations among indices of externalization: Test of group invariance. Although
not a focus of the current paper, we made one additional modification to Model 2
constraining the intercorrelations among indices of externalization to be equal across
countries (Model 5). This model fitted reasonably well, w
2
(28) ¼40.11, p¼.0647,
Shame, Guilt and Pride 13
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with RMSEA ¼.045, SRMR ¼.070, and CFI ¼.990, and was not significantly
different from Model 2, w
2
(6) ¼16.185, p5.05. The intercorrelations among
externalizing dimensions were equivalent.
Discussion
This study examined differences in proneness to shame, guilt, and pride among
children residing in Japan, Korea and the USA. Results support the cross-cultural
equivalence of the TOSCA-C, and indicate that although there are significant group
differences in children’s propensity to experience self-conscious emotions, the
correlates of proneness to shame and guilt (but not pride) are remarkably similar
across these three cultures, in at least one important domain—anger and aggression.
Shame: Cross-cultural Continuities and Discontinuities
As expected, Japanese children were more shame-prone than children in the USA and
Korea. In this sense, Japan may indeed represent a ‘‘shame’’ culture (Benedict, 1947)
in a way that is distinct from another Asian culture—Korea. Regarding the correlates
of shame-proneness, we hypothesized that shame would be less problematic,
presumably because it is more normative and less painful in the self-critical Japanese
culture. There were, however, surprisingly few differences in the relationship of shame
to aggression-related cognitions, emotions, and behavior. In the face of failure or
transgression, shame-prone children in Japan, Korea, and the USA are more inclined
to blame others and feel anger, relative to their less shame-prone peers. Although
some differences were observed in the relation of shame to teacher reports of total
problem behavior (among Korean children and to some extent among US children,
shame was positively correlated with problem behavior, but such was not the case for
Japanese children), aggression-relevant correlates of shame did not differ across
culture beyond what one would expect by chance. Notably, in no case did shame seem
to inhibit aggression-relevant cognitions, emotion or behavior.
In short, although there are substantial cultural differences in mean levels of
shame-proneness, the correlates of shame in one important domain suggest that
shame’s functions or psychological implications are similar across cultures. The
propensity to experience shame in day-to-day situations was associated with negative
consequences, including a tendency to externalize blame and the propensity to
experience anger. Although shame may be more socially desirable in Japanese and
other Asian cultures, relative to Western contexts, the tendency to experience shame
more often than one’s culturally-matched peers appears to be maladaptive across
these three distinct cultures.
Guilt
Whereas Japanese children appear most prone to self-evaluative emotion focused on
the self (shame), Korean children were more prone to self-evaluative emotion focused
on specific behaviors (guilt), relative to Japanese and American children. Thus, there
was no support for the notion of a Western ‘‘guilt culture.’’ When considering the
aggression-relevant correlates of guilt-proneness, guilt emerged as an adaptive
emotion in all three cultures. Guilt-prone Japanese and Korean children as well as US
children were inclined to take responsibility, eschewing the temptation to blame
others for their mistakes and misdeeds, relative to their less guilt-prone peers. Guilt
14 E. Furukawa et al.
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was significantly negatively related to behavioral maladjustment among Korean and
US children. Although this link at the behavioral level was not evident among
Japanese children, taken together with other indices of externalization, the difference
was not more than would be expected by chance. Omnibus tests indicate that guilt is
negatively linked to externalization, equivalently across the three cultures.
Pride
As expected, US children demonstrated the highest level of pride, and Japanese
children the lowest, reflecting the emphasis on self-enhancement in US culture and
the emphasis on self-critical examination in Japanese culture. Level of pride among
Korean children was intermediate. In terms of psychosocial correlates, among
Japanese, Korean and US children alike, pride was positively correlated with
adaptive feelings of guilt, perhaps reflecting the agentic aspects of each. But pride
was also associated, cross-culturally, with a tendency to externalize blame for
negative events, instead of taking responsibility. Such external attributions of blame
may reflect defensive, self-serving biases to support perceptions leading to pride.
There also appear to be cross-cultural differences in the correlates of pride. For
example, among Japanese children, there appears to be a special link between pride
and shame, perhaps reflecting that both function as the ‘‘glue of social relationships’’
(Menon & Shweder, 1994), and perhaps also because pride is an undesired emotion
in Japanese culture, one apt to induce shame.
Gender Differences
Gender differences in shame and guilt were found in Japanese, Korean and US
samples. Across cultures, girls were more prone to both shame and guilt than boys.
Boys’ and girls’ propensity to experience pride was equivalent across countries.
Previous research in the USA has shown such gender differences in shame and guilt
across individuals of all ages (Tangney & Dearing, 2002a, 2002b). The current
results, representing the first cross-cultural examination of gender differences in self-
conscious emotions, indicate that gender differences are remarkably robust across
culture as well as developmental levels.
TOSCA-C: Evidence for Measurement Invariance across Culture
To what extent can we have confidence in the current study’s results? The TOSCA-C
was developed based on phenomenological studies with Western samples, drawing
on scenarios and responses generated by children residing in the USA (Tangney
et al., 1996). Might there be a confound between culture and measurement validity?
Drawing on Millsap’s (1997) framework for evaluating measurement equivalence via
an examination of measurement and predictive bias, the empirical evidence weighs
strongly in favor of the cross-cultural equivalence of the TOSCA-C as a measure of
proneness to shame and guilt. There was little variation across three distinct cultures
in: (1) internal consistency (e.g., the degree to which items tapping guilt
phenomenology ‘‘hang together’’ among Asian participants compared to US
participants); (2) the correlation between shame and guilt; (3) uniform and non-
uniform DIF (i.e., TOSCA-C items appeared to measure the latent traits of shame,
guilt and pride similarly for children in the USA, Japan, and Korea); and (4) the
social and emotional correlates of shame and guilt.
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One might reasonably ask whether the observed cultural differences in level of
shame and guilt simply reflect that the emotion-eliciting events used in the TOSCA-C
are more relevant to US as opposed to Asian children. After all, the TOSCA-C
scenarios were selected to maximize relevance to children grades 4–6, drawing on
hundreds of interviews with children in the USA. Given a different set of scenarios,
might these cultural differences disappear—or even reverse? This seems highly
unlikely. First, an effect of differential relevance would translate into lower levels of
shame and guilt among Japanese and Korean children, relative to those in the USA,
whereas just the opposite was found. Second, because each shame (and each guilt
and pride) item is embedded in a different scenario—a different emotion-eliciting
event—any cultural differences in scenario relevance would result in differential item
functioning. If a given scenario were irrelevant (and thus not guilt eliciting) in one
culture as opposed to another, differential item functioning would be observed. DIF
analysis revealed no such effects beyond chance.
Limitations and Suggestions for Future Research
As with any study, there are limitations that must be considered when interpreting
the present findings. In many respects, this study just scratches the surface of the
complex issue of cross-cultural differences in self-conscious emotions. First, the
match between the Japanese, Korean and US samples used in the present study was
acceptable, but not ideal. Replication of the correlational results in samples explicitly
matched on age, socioeconomic status, etc., would be helpful. Second, regarding
statistical power, although our sample sizes were sufficient to detect moderate effect
sizes in differences in the correlates of shame, guilt and pride, there could be more
subtle differences that we failed to detect. Future studies with more substantial
samples of cultural groups of interest are warranted. Third, results observed in the
current US, Japanese and Korean samples should not be interpreted as representing
phenomena in other Western and non-Western cultures. Rodriguez Mosquera,
Manstead, and Fischer (2000, 2002), for example, found theoretically consistent
differences in children’s understanding of ‘‘shame’’ and ‘‘pride’’ when comparing
children from Spain, an ‘‘honor culture,’’ with children from the Netherlands, an
‘‘independent culture.’’ Fourth, research is needed to determine whether the
observed cultural differences in self-conscious emotions in middle childhood hold
at other points in the lifespan. It is possible that the developmental trajectories of
self-conscious emotions differ across cultural contexts, as attitudes towards these
emotions and perhaps the degree of internalization of cultural values are variable
among cultures (Crystal, Parrott, Okazaki, & Watanabe, 2001; Tobin, 2000).
Fifth, there may be classes of situations, beyond those assessed by the TOSCA-C,
that vary cross-culturally in eliciting self-conscious emotions. The TOSCA-C
scenarios assess shame, guilt and pride in reference to individual transgressions,
failures and accomplishments. Given the interdependent nature of Japanese culture,
experiences of pride for achievements of family members, friends, or social groups
may be more acceptable. If different types of pride are valued differently, it is
reasonable to expect that the correlates of individualistic pride versus group-oriented
pride differ across cultures. Similarly, we may observe different levels and patterns of
relationships in group-oriented shame and guilt in Japan, Korea and the USA. Some
researchers have found different correlational patterns of shame and guilt in other
cultures and contexts. Breugelmans and Poortinga (2006) found that the experience
of guilt was associated with feeling powerlessness and small whereas shame was
16 E. Furukawa et al.
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associated with constructive social behavior among Rara0muri Indians and rural
Javanese. Bagozz, Verbeke, and Gavino (2003) reported that shame had a negative
effect on customer service provided by salespersons in the Netherlands but not in the
Philippines. In developing the TOSCA-C measure of self-conscious emotions,
situations were drawn from autobiographical accounts of shame and guilt reported
by individuals in the USA to enhance ecological validity (Tangney & Dearing,
2002a). Similar procedures could be used to further explore the nature of self-
evaluative emotions in Japan and other countries. Future research would benefit
from including situations eliciting group-oriented shame, guilt and pride. Such
procedures would also be useful in capturing cultural variations in the constructions
of moral emotions, as other researchers have identified multiple categories of shame
and guilt in China (e.g., Bedford & Hwang, 2003) and Japan (e.g., Higuchi, 2000).
Sixth, the current study was exclusively quantitative in nature. We did not obtain
qualitative descriptions of how shame (and guilt and pride) ‘‘feel’’ from children
residing in Japan and Korea. Thus, future research employing qualitative methods
cross-culturally would substantially extend the literature. Nonetheless, the results
reported here have some bearing on the question as to whether there are cultural
differences in the structure and phenomenology of these emotions. Consider the
pattern of results that would have been observed in the current study if these
emotions were fundamentally different across cultures—that is, if they ‘‘felt’’ and
functioned differently in different cultural contexts, potentially along multiple
dimensions (Shweder, 2003). If such were the case, DIF analyses should clearly
indicate differential item functioning of the TOSCA-C items. TOSCA-C items
represent brief phenomenological descriptions of what shame and guilt would ‘‘feel’’
like. Some items tap primarily affective content (feelings of remorse and regret,
feeling humiliated and embarrassed), others tap cognitive content (evaluating a
behavior or the self negatively), and some represent a combination of cognitive,
affective, physiological, or motivational experience. If the phenomenology of shame
TABLE 5 Ethnic Differences in Self-conscious Emotions in Two US Samples
African American Caucasian American Other American F
n
Sample 1 104 218 30
Sample 2 131 151 41
Shame
Sample 1 2.73 (0.63) 2.81 (0.65) 2.81 (0.70) 0.37
Sample 2 2.63 (0.65)
a
2.76 (0.58) 2.95 (0.67)
b
5.14**
Guilt
Sample 1 3.86 (0.61) 3.88 (0.58) 4.07 (0.67) 1.88
Sample 2 3.75 (0.71) 3.75 (0.64) 3.90 (0.63) 0.99
Pride
Sample 1 3.99 (0.55)
c
3.77 (0.55)
d
4.01 (0.56) 7.20***
Sample 2 4.05 (0.58)
e
3.84 (0.60)
f
3.85 (0.57) 4.76**
Notes:**p5.01; ***p5.001.
a,b
Tukey post hoc comparison test indicated a significant dif-
ference (p5.05).
c,d
Tukey post hoc comparison test indicated a significant difference
(p5.05).
e,f
Tukey post hoc comparison test indicated a significant difference (p5.05).
Shame, Guilt and Pride 17
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and guilt were markedly different, depending on cultural background, TOSCA-C
items would not ‘‘hang together’’ similarly, nor similarly ‘‘predict’’ the relevant
latent construct for Japanese, Korean, and US children.
In fact, the DIF results argue against very large cross-cultural differences in the
phenomenology of the self-conscious emotions, and (owing to the scenario-based
structure of the TOSCA-C) in the types of situations that give rise to these emotions.
This is not to suggest that no meaningful cross-cultural variation exists. Future
research may yet reveal subtle but important cultural differences in: (a) the
phenomenology of these self-conscious emotions; (b) the types of situations that
elicit these emotions; and (c) the implications of these emotions for motivation and
behavior. But such differences are likely to be relatively small. What is needed next is
research utilizing sensitive qualitative methods to study more targeted domains (e.g.,
phenomenology of shame across cultures; cross-cultural differences in pride
prompted by self vs. significant other), coupled with similarly focused quantitative
studies, with samples and measurement reliability sufficient to detect small to
medium effect sizes.
Conclusions
Results support the cross-cultural utility of the TOSCA-C as a measure of individual
differences in proneness to shame, guilt, and pride. There appear to be substantial
cross-cultural differences in how frequently or intensely people experience shame,
guilt, and pride, but the nature and functions of shame and guilt across three distinct
cultures appeared surprisingly similar. The jury is still out on pride. Additional
research is needed on cultural differences in pride and its implications for self and
social adjustment.
Notes
1. We have chosen to use the term ‘‘culture’’ throughout the manuscript to describe the
group-related construct. We do so with caution, recognizing that we have not directly
measured ‘‘culture,’’ but rather are using country as a proxy for culture. Although the
USA, Japan, and Korea can be differentiated along multiple dimensions (e.g., cultural,
political, spatial, economic), our primary interest is in cultural factors that may impact
emotion, as suggested by theory. Theory does not predict cross-political, cross-
economic or cross-spatial differences in self-conscious emotions. For example, Japan
could become part of Australia tomorrow, but children attending fifth grade in Tokyo
would still experience shame and guilt the same way. We opted to use the term
‘‘culture,’’ mindful of the caveats, rather than using a term that conveys no
information (group) or a term tied to a construct irrelevant to theory (e.g., nation).
2. The response choices represent affective, cognitive, and motivational/behavioral
dimensions associated with shame and guilt, respectively, drawn from the clinical,
theoretical, and empirical literature. This is not, as some have suggested, merely a
measure of behaviors (hiding vs. amending) in lieu of affect or emotion. For example,
of the 15 shame items on the TOSCA-C, only one refers to a motivated behavior per se
(‘‘I would run upstairs’’) and another refers to a behavioral response in conjunction
with an affective reaction (‘‘I would slide down in my chair, embarrassed’’). Seven
shame items refer to cognitions (e.g., ‘‘My other friends might think I’m weird . . . ’’),
four refer primarily to affect (e.g., ‘‘I’d probably feel really lousy about myself’’), and
two reflect a mix of cognitions and affect. Similarly, of the 15 guilt items on the
TOSCA-C, none refer to present or future behaviors, eight refer to cognitions (e.g., ‘‘I
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should have been more careful’’), and seven refer primarily to affect (e.g., ‘‘I’d feel
sorry, very sorry because . . . ’’). Phenomenological research (e.g., Lindsay-Hartz,
1984; Tangney, 1992; Tangney et al., 1996; Wicker et al., 1983) has indicated that
feelings of regret are a hallmark of guilt, not shame; such research indicates that
worrying about other people’s evaluations of the self is a hallmark of shame.
3. In the process of translation, some scenarios were changed when the original situations
were not common practice in Japan or Korea. The alternative situations were carefully
chosen, keeping the nature of situations as similar as possible. For example, since
‘‘patrol duty’’ is not often practiced in Japan, the original scenario that read: ‘‘You are
on patrol duty and you turn in three kids.’’ was changed into ‘‘You witnessed three
classmates cheating on a quiz and you turn them in’’, keeping the theme of ‘‘telling on
friends’’.
4. Age was not available at individual level in Japanese and Korean samples, so age-
corrected grade was used as a control variable in these analyses. US children in Grades
4, 5, and 6 were on average 9.7, 10.6, and 11.6, respectively. Similarly, based on
information provided by the school the Japanese children from Grades 3 and 4 were
on average 8.5 and 9.5 years of age, respectively. Korean children from Grades 4 and 5
were on average 10.5 and 11.5 years of age, respectively. Thus, Korean fourth and fifth
graders were recoded as fifth and sixth graders. In no case did age emerge as a
statistically significant covariate. To further rule out the possibility of an age
confound, secondary analyses were conducted on the subset of participants in nation-
grade groups most comparable in age, with results very similar to those observed in the
full sample. For example, Japanese and US fourth graders were equivalent in age.
Korean fourth and fifth (recoded as fifth and sixth) were comparable to the US fifth
and sixth graders. Results were essentially identical to those observed in the full
sample. Finally, because school grade is only an approximate index of age, the relation
of measured age to shame, guilt, and pride was examined within the US sample.
Within the US sample, age was negligibly related to shame, guilt, or pride (rs¼7.05,
7.02, and .05, respectively, all ps4.05). Thus, although children’s age was not
precisely equivalent across cultural groups, it unlikely to account for group differences
in self-conscious emotions. Three sets of analyses converge: within the age range
considered, age does not appear to be relevant to the domain examined here.
Individual-level data on socioeconomic status was not available for the Japanese
and Korean samples. To assess the likelihood that SES might represent a confound
with culture as it relates to self-conscious emotions, we examined the relationship of
family income to shame, guilt, and pride within the US sample, where individual-level
data were available. Within the US sample, income level is not related to shame, guilt,
or pride (rs¼7.03, .04, and 7.04, respectively, all ps4.05). Thus, although SES was
not precisely equivalent across cultural groups, it seems unlikely to account for the
group differences in emotion observed here. Most relevant to the current paper, data
on race/ethnicity were available at the individual level in the two US samples, and both
samples were quite diverse. Secondary analyses (two-way analyses of variance;
ANOVAs) assessed the main effect of ethnicity and its interaction with gender. In US
Sample 2, there was a significant main effect of ethnicity for shame (see Table 5).
African Americans were lower in the propensity to experience shame relative to White
and Other participants (ps5.05). But this difference was not observed in Sample 1.
(There were too few Asian participants to evaluate as a group.) In both samples,
African Americans were higher on Pride than Whites. In Sample 1, Other participants
were also higher than Whites. No group differences were observed for guilt, and all
interactions with gender were non-significant.
5. Because significant gender differences were observed in mean levels of shame and guilt,
we first analyzed the degree to which gender moderated the relation of self-conscious
emotions (shame, guilt, and pride) to the four constructs of interest and among
themselves, within each cultural group. Observed gender effects were no greater than
Shame, Guilt and Pride 19
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chance. Thus, for the remainder of the paper, results are presented collapsing across
gender.
6. The coefficients presented for shame and guilt are part correlations in which shame
was factored out from guilt and vice versa. The covariation between shame and guilt
reflects the fact that these emotions share a number of features in common, and that
shame and guilt can co-occur with respect to the same situation (Tangney & Dearing,
2002a). This part correlational approach allows a more precise examination of unique
relations of shame and guilt to theoretically relevant constructs (Paulhus, Robins,
Trzesniewski, & Tracy, 2004). Fisher’s rto ztransformations were used to assess the
differences among Japanese, Korean, and US children in the magnitude of correlates.
7. To account for the fact that different teacher measures of aggression and problem
behavior were used with US children versus children in Japan and Korea, the two
teacher scales were standardized within country group. That is, teacher ratings were
transformed so that within each country group, teacher scores were centered at a mean
of zero with a standard deviation of 1. The transformed teacher ratings from the
Achenbach and Devereux measures were then merged into a single variable indicating
how different each child was from his or her group mean.
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Shame and dissociation have been implicated theoretically and empirically in trauma exposure and its sequelae, with shame understood as an intense negative emotion and dissociation as a reaction to intense negative emotions. Understanding the connection between shame and dissociation is important for theory and practice; however, the strength of this association remains unclear. For example, in therapy, both shame and dissociation serve as a barrier to engaging with emotion. Theoretically, these two states should be distinct, as one (dissociation) confers low affective intensity and the other (shame) high intensity. The present meta‐analysis focused on the magnitude of the association between these two phenomena and investigated the extent to which gender, trauma exposure, psychiatric comorbidities, and demographic characteristics influence this association given their independent links to shame and dissociation. An initial search of six databases identified 151,844 articles. Duplicates were removed, and additional articles were excluded based on abstract and title screening. After contacting authors for missing data, a full‐text screen yielded 25 articles for the present analysis. The results indicate that shame and dissociation were moderately correlated (k = 33, n = 4,705), r = .42, 95% CI [.35, .48], p < .001, but no clear clinical moderators emerged. Despite this association, very few studies utilized experimental designs to examine the association between these constructs. Future research should focus on experimental study designs to investigate the extent to which shame induces dissociation or vice versa.
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What makes romantic jealousy rational or fitting? Psychologists view jealousy's function as preserving a relationship against a 'threat' from a 'rival'. I argue that its more specific aim is to preserve a certain privileged status of the lover in relation to the beloved. Jealousy is apt when the threat to that status is real, otherwise inapt. Aptness assessments of jealousy must determine what counts as 'threat' and as 'rival'. They commonly take for granted monogamous norms. Hence, compared with jealousy in monogamous relationships, norms of polyamory set the thresholds for what counts both as threat and as rival much higher.
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Emotionen sind ein grundlegender Teil der menschlichen Erfahrung, aber wie Kinder lernen, ihre Gefühle und ihr Verhalten zu regulieren, kann lebenslange Konsequenzen haben. In diesem Kapitel untersuchen wir die Entwicklung von Emotionen sowie die Entwicklung der Fähigkeit von Kindern, ihre Gefühle und das mit ihnen zusammenhängende Verhalten zu regulieren. Darüber hinaus betrachten wir Zusammenhänge zwischen dem Temperament der Kinder und ihrem Verhalten sowie Verbindungen zwischen emotionalem Stress und psychischer Gesundheit.
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Our knowledge of how the more complex self-conscious emotions (SCEs) are affected in schizophrenia is sparse. SCEs, unlike basic emotions, involve sophisticated frontal-lobe related cognition, impairment of which characterises the neurocognitive profile of schizophrenia. We investigated, in a cross-sectional study, whether SCEs (shame, guilt and self-disgust) are affected in schizophrenia, and the relationship between changes in SCEs and executive (dys)function. Twenty-nine Greek and thirty Arabic patients with schizophrenia were recruited alongside twenty-two Greek and thirty Arabic matched controls. Participants were administered the Self-Disgust Scale (TOSCA for shame and guilt was also administered to the Greek sample), and the Trail Making and Verbal Fluency Tests to measure executive function (EF). Trait levels of self-disgust and guilt were found to be higher and lower, respectively, in patients with schizophrenia relative to control participants; and poorer EF was related with higher trait levels of SD, but lower trait levels of guilt. The pattern of findings was largely unaffected when controlling for anxiety and depression. Given that altered levels of SCEs are closely related to poorer EF, we suggest that the link between EF and emotion regulation, widely established in basic emotions but under-studied in SCEs, may explain the current findings.
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Subcultural differences of 69 women and 122 men (M age = 20 years old) were examined on self-reports of shame, guilt, fear of intimacy, self-deprecation, and perceptions of inauthenticity. Subcultural group differences emerged for shame-proneness but not guilt-proneness, with Asian Americans claiming to be more susceptible to shame than European, African, or Latin Americans. Separate part-correlation analyses for each cultural grouping indicated a positive relationship between shame-proneness, self-deprecation, and inauthenticity for Asian-, European-, and Latin Americans. Among African-Americans shame-proneness was directly related to a fear of intimacy and self-deprecation. Guilt-proneness was not significantly related to any self-report variable across cultural groups. Multiple regression analyses indicated that self-deprecation for Asian and European Americans, inauthenticity for Latin Americans, and a fear of intimacy for African Americans were the best predictors of shame-proneness.
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Within- and between-nations differences in norms for experiencing emotions were analyzed in a cross-cultural study with 1,846 respondents from 2 individualistic (United States, Australia) and 2 collectivistic (China, Taiwan) countries. A multigroup latent class analysis revealed that there were both universal and culture-specific types of norms for experiencing emotions. Moreover, strong intranational variability in norms for affect could be detected, particularly for collectivistic nations. Unexpectedly, individualistic nations were most uniform in norms, particularly with regard to pleasant affect. Individualistic and collectivistic nations differed most strongly in norms for self-reflective emotions (e.g., pride and guilt). Norms for emotions were related to emotional experiences within nations. Furthermore, there were strong national differences in reported emotional experiences, even when norms were held constant.
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• There are at least 2 general paths to a feeling of control. In primary control, individuals enhance their rewards by influencing existing realities (e.g., other people, circumstances, symptoms, or behavior problems). In secondary control, individuals enhance their rewards by accommodating to existing realities and maximizing satisfaction or goodness of fit with things as they are. It is argued that American psychologists' exclusive focus on primary control reflects a cultural context in which primary control is heavily emphasized and highly valued. In Japan, by contrast, primary control has traditionally been less highly valued and less often anticipated, and secondary control has assumed a more central role in everyday life. Japanese and American perspectives and practices are contrasted in childrearing, socialization, religion and philosophy, work, and psychotherapy. These comparisons reveal some key benefits, and some costs, of both primary and secondary approaches to control. The comparisons suggest that an important goal, both for individuals and for cultures, is an optimally adaptive blend of primary and secondary control. (116 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) • There are at least 2 general paths to a feeling of control. In primary control, individuals enhance their rewards by influencing existing realities (e.g., other people, circumstances, symptoms, or behavior problems). In secondary control, individuals enhance their rewards by accommodating to existing realities and maximizing satisfaction or goodness of fit with things as they are. It is argued that American psychologists' exclusive focus on primary control reflects a cultural context in which primary control is heavily emphasized and highly valued. In Japan, by contrast, primary control has traditionally been less highly valued and less often anticipated, and secondary control has assumed a more central role in everyday life. Japanese and American perspectives and practices are contrasted in childrearing, socialization, religion and philosophy, work, and psychotherapy. These comparisons reveal some key benefits, and some costs, of both primary and secondary approaches to control. The comparisons suggest that an important goal, both for individuals and for cultures, is an optimally adaptive blend of primary and secondary control. (116 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
Perhaps the most important dimension of cultural difference in social behaviour, across the diverse cultures of the world, is the relative emphasis on individualism v. collectivism. In individualist cultures, most people’s social behaviour is largely determined by personal goals, attitudes, and values of collectivities (families, co-workers, fellow countrymen). In collectivist cultures, most people’s social behaviour is largely determined by goals, attitudes, and values that are shared with some collectivity (group of persons).
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Three aspects of the self (private, public, collective) with different probabilities in different kinds of social environments were sampled. Three dimensions of cultural variation (individualism-collectivism, tightness-looseness, cultural complexity) are discussed in relation to the sampling of these three aspects of the self. The more complex the culture, the more frequent the sampling of the public and private self and the less frequent the sampling of the collective self. The more individualistic the culture, the more frequent the sampling of the private self and the less frequent the sampling of the collective self. Collectivism, external threat, competition with outgroups, and common fate increase the sampling of the collective self. Cultural homogeneity results in tightness and in the sampling of the collective self. The article outlines theoretical links among aspects of the environment, child-rearing patterns, and cultural patterns, which are linked to differential sampling of aspects of the self. Such sampling has implications for social behavior. Empirical investigations of some of these links are reviewed.