Tracing the self-regulatory bases of moral emotions

Sana Sheikh, Ronnie Janoff-Bulman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


In this article we explore a self-regulatory perspective on the self-evaluative moral emotions, shame and guilt. Broadly conceived, self-regulation distinguishes between two types of motivation: approach/activation and avoidance/inhibition. We use this distinction to conceptually understand the socialization dimensions (parental restrictiveness versus nurturance), associated emotions (anxiety versus empathy), and forms of morality (proscriptive versus prescriptive) that serve as precursors to each self-evaluative moral emotion. We then examine the components of shame and guilt experiences in greater detail and conclude with more general implications of a self-regulatory perspective on moral emotions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-396
Number of pages11
JournalEmotion Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Self-regulation
  • Self-evaluative
  • Morals
  • Emotions
  • Shame
  • Guilt


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