Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 43, Issue 6, pp 940–947 | Cite as

Shame and guilt among ice hockey players in the penalty box

  • Sohad Murrar
  • Naomi Isenberg
  • Paula Niedenthal
  • Markus BrauerEmail author
Original Paper


Shame and guilt proneness are negative emotional dispositions that diverge in their behavioral responses. After a wrongdoing, shame tends to have a maladaptive influence on behavior, and guilt tends to have an adaptive influence on behavior. The current study sought to investigate shame and guilt tendencies among children and adolescents in a real-world context that has all the characteristics to generate these feelings: the hockey penalty box. We surveyed children and adolescent ice hockey players with experience serving time in the penalty box (N = 123). Findings showed that players who were higher in guilt proneness recalled experiencing more guilt-related feelings and cognitions in the penalty box than players lower in guilt proneness. The different cognitions relate to more anticipation of improving their playing. Players higher in shame proneness experienced more shame-related feelings and cognitions than players lower in shame proneness, which was related to more self-blaming. These findings have implications for the development and consequences of prosocial behaviors.


Shame proneness Guilt proneness Self-blame Reparative action Development 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from both the participants and their parents.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Psychology & CounselingGovernors State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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