Although members of several social groups report feeling guilt because of their group's actions, average reports of group-based guilt tend to be quite low. We investigate three antecedents of group-based guilt derived from research on social justice and interpersonal emotion. We find that Whites, men and women perceive inequality, responsibility and justifiability of group differences to the same extent. Moreover, each factor is a key antecedent of guilt for Whites, men and women. We also find an interaction between justifiability and responsibility such that reports of group-based guilt increase as perceptions of ingroup responsibility increase and justifications for group differences decrease. Given the beneficial consequences of group-based guilt for intergroup relations, it is important to understand what factors lead to group-based guilt.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science