Peter N. Stearns

“Guilty people apologize and also take steps to avoid repetition. Shame, in contrast, is a more global emotion, which can emerge in response to the same kind of wrong act and violation of standards. It may develop earlier in life than guilt-- guilt requires more cognitive sorting capacity-- but above all it emphasizes self-abasement. It is the self that is at fault, not the commission of the act. This creates greater pain and intensity than guilt. A shamed person feels very bad indeed-- but also makes it more difficult to escape.”


Peter N. Stearns, Shame: A Brief History
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Shame: A Brief History Shame: A Brief History by Peter N. Stearns
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