I Shouldn't, Or Should I? Distinguishing Shame and Guilt in Goal Pursuit

Rania Semaan, Baruch College CUNY, USA
Stephen Gould, Baruch College CUNY, USA
Research has shown that much of consumer behavior is goal-directed. However, such behavior is accompanied by emotions that guide goal-directed effort. In this research we aim to explain how two equally valenced emotions, shame and guilt, arising from goal violation could lead to different allocations of effort towards goal attainment. Building on emotion attribution theory, we report one experiment that demonstrates the underlying mechanisms of shame and guilt and how they differ in their effect on subsequent goal directed behavior. We also discuss potential moderators of this effect.
[ to cite ]:
Rania Semaan and Stephen Gould (2010) ,"I Shouldn't, Or Should I? Distinguishing Shame and Guilt in Goal Pursuit", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 903-904 .