Current Psychology

, Volume 35, Issue 4, pp 690–699 | Cite as

Shame, Guilt, and Anger: Their Cognitive, Physiological, and Behavioral Correlates

  • Monica PivettiEmail author
  • Marina Camodeca
  • Maria Rapino


Within the framework of the Component Process Model, the present study focuses on the emotions of shame, guilt, and anger, and aims at exploring their cognitive, physiological, and behavioral correlates. The participants were 124 Italian undergraduate students, who were asked to report an episode, from their autobiographical memory, about a self-conscious emotion that had occurred to them in the recent past. After that, they were asked to rate a large number of possible reactions about thoughts, bodily sensations, and action tendencies that they experienced during that episode. Our results generally support the idea that shame, guilt, and anger elicit different cognitive, physical, and behavioral patterns. These reactive systems may influence emotional and social adjustment in young adults. In particular, shame did not appear to be associated with aggressive tendencies, but it was characterized by the sensation of being a failure, gaze aversion, and by a low awareness of hurting and transgressing. Both guilt and anger were characterized by norm violation, whereas guilt alone was related to a tendency to repair.


Psychology students Guilt Shame Anger Behavioral correlates 



The comments of Mia Silfver, University of Helsinki (FI), and two anonymous reviewers on earlier versions of this paper are much appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological, Health and Territorial Sciences, (Di.S.P.U.Ter.)University of Chieti-PescaraChietiItaly
  2. 2.Department of Neurosciences, Imaging and Clinical SciencesUniversity of Chieti-PescaraChietiItaly

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