Reconciliation responses, blame and expressions of guilt or shame

Caroline Kamau, Roger Giner-Sorolla, Sven Zebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recipients of intergroup apologies have been found to prefer expressions of shame over guilt. However, there is little research comparing the responses of a wronged group with those of a blamed group. Kenyans/Britons evaluated guilt/shame statements about colonialism, with blame measured as the assignment of collective guilt to Britain. Amongst Britons, there was a significant interaction, with high ingroup blamers expecting more reconciliation from shame than from guilt, and vice versa for low ingroup blamers. Amongst Kenyans, there was no main effect of blame, but more reconciliation was expected from shame than from guilt. Wronged groups thus appear to prefer shame over guilt, whereas preference for guilt/shame amongst members of a blamed group depends on the level of ingroup blame.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E287-E292
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


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