The Collective Emotions of Guilt and Shame: a Review of Current Research



The article provides an overview of the research of the collective emotions of guilt and shame. The review covers research since the early 1990 's (Steele, Smith, Doosje, Branscombe), through the 2000 's (Leach, Lickel, Iyer, Allpress, Brown, De Hooge), until the last days (Shepherd, Rees, Goldenberg). It describes the differences between collective emotions and emotions based on group membership, as well as mechanisms for their relationship. The article presents the studies of collective guilt, differentiates the notions of “collective guilt” and “collective responsibility ", describes the mechanisms of formation of “collective guilt” and consequences of this feeling. It also describes the study of a collective sense of shame, introduces two kinds of shame: moral image and shame. It analyzes the contradictions in the study of collective emotion as predictors of attitudes and inter-group relations.

General Information

Keywords: psychology of emotions, collective emotions, group emotions, guilt, shame

Journal rubric: General Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Efremova M.V., Grigoryan L.K. The Collective Emotions of Guilt and Shame: a Review of Current Research [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2014. Vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 71–88. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Maria V. Efremova, PhD in Psychology, Leading Research Fellow, Center for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Lusine K. Grigoryan, MA in Psychology, PhD Student, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Jacobs University Bremen, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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