Self-Conscious Emotions: The Psychology of Shame, Guilt, Embarrassment, and Pride

Self-Conscious Emotions: The Psychology of Shame, Guilt, Embarrassment, and Pride
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Given their strong theoretical relevance to both individual and interpersonal adjustment and functioning, it is ironic that the "self-conscious" emotions have been among the most neglected in the research literature. In recent years, however, the study of affect has come into its own as a vigorous, respectable, and productive branch of scientific psychology, and with this shift has come a new interest in emotions such as shame, guilt, embarrassment, and pride. This volume provides a comprehensive, in-depth review of the current theoretical and empirical literature on these emotions. It brings together contributions from leading researchers and theoreticians from the fields of developmental psychology, clinical psychology, psychiatry, and sociology, reflecting the emerging coherence in this area of study.

The introduction provides a general framework for conceptualization and research on the self-conscious emotions. The book then addresses developmental issues, including the nature of these affective experiences among children, from late infancy to middle childhood, and implications for children's psychosocial functioning. Detailed explorations of the relationship of self-conscious emotions to aspects of social behavior and the social environment and to various types of psychopathology are also presented. Chapters demonstrate how an understanding of self-conscious emotions can greatly enhance the treatment of a wide range of maladaptive patterns of behavior, including marital conflict, depression, anxiety, and antisocial behavior. The final section discusses cross-cultural continuities and discontinuities in self-conscious affect. Throughout, the book highlights the need for innovative and diverse methodologies to systematically study the nature and functions of these feelings.

The unique focus on empirical approaches makes this work an invaluable resource for the growing number of researchers interested in the study of self-conscious affect and social behavior. Demonstrating the wide-ranging implications of this research for clinical practice, the book will interest practitioners in clinical psychology, psychiatry, and developmental psychology. In addition, Self-Conscious Emotions will benefit professionals in social psychology, sociology, and anthropology, and will serve as useful text for courses in the psychology of emotion, personality and emotion, and cultural psychology.

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