The self-conscious emotions of guilt, shame and pride in education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The experience of self-conscious emotions is associated with a person's evaluations of the self and his or her conduct in a particular situation. In particular an individual is expected to experience guilt, shame and pride when they perceive themselves to have succeeded or failed to abide by internalised values and moral standards. Hence an examination of how and when individuals experience self-conscious emotions can provide considerable psychological insight into their personal values and moral imperatives. Moreover, the different self-conscious emotions a person experiences do not remain inert within the confines of their body. Instead, they have a prevailing influence on an individual's thoughts and their behaviour. With this in mind substantial psychological and some educational research has been conducted on the self-conscious emotions. In this chapter, a brief review of the literature on the development of selfconscious emotions is followed by a detailed examination of guilt, shame and pride as experienced by school children and adolescents. The analysis of each emotion will include an exploration of how it is experienced by learners and its potential influence on their behaviour and their ability to learn. Furthermore, each self-conscious emotion is examined as an achievement emotion, which learners experience in relation to their work, or as a social emotion, which students experience in their social interactions. At the end of the chapter the circumstances under which teachers experience guilt and pride are also described and discussed. The purpose of research in this field has been to study teachers' self-understanding and moral purpose by examining their self-conscious emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Psychology of Emotions
Subtitle of host publicationRecent Theoretical Perspectives and Novel Empirical Findings
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781628080537
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Medicine


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