Advertisement

Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 103–111 | Cite as

Who wants to be collectively guilty? A causal role for motivation in the regulation of collective guilt

  • Keren SharvitEmail author
  • Shimrit Valetzky
Original Paper

Abstract

Two studies tested the role of guilt instrumentality in motivating the regulation of collective guilt up or down by motivated reasoning, and its dependence on mental resources. In Study 1 participants (N = 93) were randomly assigned to learn that guilt is beneficial, detrimental or neither. Consistent with the instrumental approach to emotion regulation, learning that guilt is beneficial led to higher levels of collective guilt following an ingroup transgression compared to the other conditions. In Study 2 (N = 178), we tested the hypothesis that regulation of collective guilt involves motivated reasoning and is cognitively demanding. Consistent with predictions derived from cognitive energetics theory, the effect of guilt instrumentality on collective guilt replicated when mental resources were not constrained, but was not observed under cognitive load. The findings suggest that individuals may be motivated to increase or reduce collective guilt depending at least partly on its instrumentality, and are willing to invest mental resources in such regulation.

Keywords

Collective guilt Emotion regulation Motivated reasoning Cognitive load 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The research was funded by German-Israeli Foundation (GIF) for Scientific Research and Development Young Scientist Grant # I-2359-105.4/2014 to the first author.

References

  1. Bandura, A. (1999). Moral disengagement in the perpetration of inhumanities. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3(3), 193–209.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327957pspr0303.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Branscombe, N. R., & Doosje, B. (Eds.). (2004a). Collective guilt: International perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Branscombe, N. R., & Doosje, B. (2004b). International perspectives on the experience of collective guilt. In N. R. Branscombe & B. Doosje (Eds.), Collective guilt: International perspectives (pp. 3–15). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Branscombe, N. R., & Miron, A. M. (2004). Interpreting the ingroup’s negative actions toward another group: Emotional reactions to appraised harm. In L. Z. Tiedens & C. W. Leach (Eds.), The social life of emotions (pp. 336–356). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, R., & Čehajić, S. (2008). Dealing with the past and facing the future: Mediators of the effects of collective guilt and shame in Bosnia and Herzegovina. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38, 669–684.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, R., González, R., Zagefka, H., Manzi, J., & Čehajić, S. (2008). Nuestra culpa: collective guilt and shame as predictors of reparation for historical wrongdoing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(1), 75–90.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.94.1.75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Castano, E. (2008). On the perils of glorifying the in-group: Intergroup violence, in-group glorification, and moral disengagement. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2(1), 154–170.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00040.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Čehajić-Clancy, S., Effron, D. A., Halperin, E., Liberman, V., & Ross, L. D. (2011). Affirmation, acknowledgment of in-group responsibility, group-based guilt, and support for reparative measures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(2), 256–270.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023936.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Doosje, B., Branscombe, N. R., Spears, R., & Manstead, A. S. R. (2006). Antecedents and consequences of group-based guilt: The effects of ingroup identification. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 9(3), 325–338.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430206064637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gilbert, D. T., & Hixon, J. G. (1991). The trouble of thinking: Activation and application of stereotypic beliefs. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(4), 509–517.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.60.4.509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gilbert, D. T., & Osborne, R. E. (1989). Thinking backward: Some curable and incurable consequences of cognitive busyness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 940–949.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.57.6.940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Giner-Sorolla, R. (2013). Judging passions: Moral emotions in persons and groups. New York: Psychology Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goldenberg, A., Saguy, T., & Halperin, E. (2014). How group-based emotions are shaped by collective emotions: Evidence for emotional transfer and emotional burden. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107(4), 581–596.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0037462.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Gross, J. J. (1998). The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of General Psychology, 2(3), 271–299.  https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.2.3.271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gross, J. J. (2002). Emotion regulation: Affective, cognitive, and social consequences. Psychophysiology, 39(3), 281–291.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S0048577201393198.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gross, J. J. (2014). Emotion regulation: Conceptual and empirical foundations. In J. J. Gross (Ed.), Handbook of emotion regulation (2nd edn., pp. 3–20). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  17. Halperin, E., & Bar-Tal, D. (2011). Socio-psychological barriers to peace making: An empirical examination within the Israeli Jewish Society. Journal of Peace Research, 48(5), 637–651.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343311412642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Halperin, E., Pliskin, R., Saguy, T., Liberman, V., & Gross, J. J. (2014). Emotion regulation and the cultivation of political tolerance: Searching for a new track for intervention. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 58(6), 1110–1138.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002713492636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Iyer, A., Leach, C. W., & Crosby, F. J. (2003). White guilt and racial compensation: the benefits and limits of self-focus. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29(1), 117–129.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167202238377.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Kruglanski, A. W., Bélanger, J. J., Chen, X., Köpetz, C., Pierro, A., & Mannetti, L. (2012). The energetics of motivated cognition: A force-field analysis. Psychological Review, 119(1), 1–20.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025488.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Kunda, Z. (1990). The case for motivated reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, 108(3), 480–498.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.108.3.480.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Leach, C. W., van Zomeren, M., Zebel, S., Vliek, M. L. W., Pennekamp, S. F., Doosje, B., … Spears, R. (2008). Group-level self-definition and self-investment: A hierarchical (multicomponent) model of in-group identification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(1), 144–165.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.95.1.144.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Leach, C. W., Zeineddine, F. B., & Čehajić-Clancy, S. (2013). Moral immemorial: The rarity of self-criticism for previous generations’ genocide or mass violence. Journal of Social Issues, 69(1), 34–53.  https://doi.org/10.1111/josi.12002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lickel, B., Steele, R. R., & Schmader, T. (2011). Group-based shame and guilt: Emerging directions in research. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 5(3), 153–163.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2010.00340.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mackie, D. M., Devos, T., & Smith, E. R. (2000). Intergroup emotions: explaining offensive action tendencies in an intergroup context. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79(4), 602–616.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.79.4.602.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Maoz, I., & McCauley, C. (2008). Threat, dehumanization, and support for retaliatory aggressive policies in asymmetric conflict. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 52(1), 93–116.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002707308597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mari, S., Andrighetto, L., Gabbiadini, A., Durante, F., & Volpato, C. (2010). The shadow of the Italian colonial experience: The impact of collective emotions on intentions to help the victims’ descendants. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 4(1), 58–74.Google Scholar
  28. McGarty, C., Pedersen, A., Leach, C. W., Mansell, T., Waller, J., & Bliuc, A.-M. (2005). Group-based guilt as a predictor of commitment to apology. British Journal of Social Psychology, 44(4), 659–680.  https://doi.org/10.1348/014466604X18974.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Miron, A. M., Branscombe, N. R., & Biernat, M. (2010). Motivated shifting of justice standards. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36(6), 768–779.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167210370031.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Miron, A. M., Branscombe, N. R., & Schmitt, M. T. (2006). Collective guilt as distress over illegitimate intergroup inequality. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 9(2), 163–180.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1368430206062075.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Packer, D. J. (2008). On being both with us and against us: A normative conflict model of dissent in social groups. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 12(1), 50–72.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868307309606.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Parrott, W. G. (1993). Beyond hedonism: Motives for inhibiting good moods and for maintaining bad moods. In D. M. Wegner & J. W. Pennebaker (Eds.), Handbook of mental control (pp. 278–308). Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  33. Peetz, J., Gunn, G. R., & Wilson, A. E. (2010). Crimes of the past: Defensive temporal distancing in the face of past in-group wrongdoing. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36(5), 598–611.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167210364850.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Porat, R., Halperin, E., Mannheim, I., & Tamir, M. (2016). Together we cry: Social motives and preferences for group-based sadness together we cry: Social motives and preferences for group-based sadness. Cognition and Emotion, 30(1), 66–79.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2015.1039495.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Porat, R., Halperin, E., & Tamir, M. (2016). What we want is what we get: Group-based emotional preferences and conflict resolution. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(2), 167–190.  https://doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000043.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Roccas, S., Klar, Y., & Liviatan, I. (2006). The paradox of group-based guilt: Modes of national identification, conflict vehemence, and reactions to the in-group’s moral violations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(4), 698–711.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.91.4.698.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Schori-Eyal, N., Tagar, R., Saguy, M., T., & Halperin, E. (2015). The benefits of group-based pride: Pride can motivate guilt in intergroup conflicts among high glorifiers. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 61, 79–83.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2015.07.008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sharvit, K., Bar-Tal, D., Raviv, A., Raviv, A., & Gurevich, R. (2010). Ideological orientation and social context as moderators of the effect of terrorism: The case of Israeli-Jewish public opinion regarding peace. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(1), 105–121.  https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.613.Google Scholar
  39. Sharvit, K., Brambilla, M., Babush, M., & Colucci, F. P. (2015). To feel or not to feel when my group harms others? The regulation of collective guilt as motivated reasoning. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(9), 1223–1235.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167215592843.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Sherman, D. K., & Cohen, G. L. (2006). The psychology of self-defense: Self-affirmation theory. In Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol 38, pp. 183–242). Amsterdam: Elsevier.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0065-2601(06)38004-5.Google Scholar
  41. Smith, E. R., Seger, C. R., & Mackie, D. M. (2007). Can emotions be truly group level? Evidence regarding four conceptual criteria. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93(3), 431–446.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.93.3.431.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Sullivan, D., Landau, M. J., Branscombe, N. R., Rothschild, Z. K., & Cronin, T. J. (2013). Self-harm focus leads to greater collective guilt: The case of the U.S.-Iraq conflict. Political Psychology, 34(4), 573–587.  https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tamir, M. (2009). What do people want to feel and why? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18(2), 101–105.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2009.01617.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tamir, M. (2016). Why do people regulate their emotions? A taxonomy of motives in emotion regulation. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 20(3), 199–222.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868315586325.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Tamir, M., & Ford, B. Q. (2009). Choosing to be afraid: Preferences for fear as a function of goal pursuit. Emotion, 9(4), 488–497.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015882.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Tamir, M., & Ford, B. Q. (2012). When feeling bad is expected to be good: Emotion regulation and outcome expectancies in social conflicts. Emotion, 12(4), 807–816.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0024443.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Tamir, M., Ford, B. Q., & Gilliam, M. (2013). Evidence for utilitarian motives in emotion regulation. Cognition and Emotion, 27(3), 483–491.  https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2012.715079.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Tamir, M., Mitchell, C., & Gross, J. J. (2008). Hedonic and instrumental motives in anger regulation. Psychological Science, 19(4), 324–328.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02088.x.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Turner, J. C. (1985). Social categorization and the self-concept: A social cognitive theory of group behavior. Advances in Group Processes, 2, 77–122.Google Scholar
  50. Turner, J. C., & Reynolds, K. J. (2012). Self-categorization theory. In P. A. M. van Lange, A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of theories of social psychology (Vol 2, pp. 379–398). Thousand Oaks: Sage.  https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446249222.n46.Google Scholar
  51. Wegner, D. M., Erber, R., & Zanakos, S. (1993). Ironic processes in the mental control of mood and mood-related thought. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65(6), 1093–1104.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.65.6.1093.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Wohl, M. J. A., Branscombe, N. R., & Klar, Y. (2006). Collective guilt: Emotional reactions when one’s group has done wrong or been wronged. European Review of Social Psychology, 17(1), 1–37.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10463280600574815.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Zebel, S., Zimmermann, A., Viki, G. T., & Doosje, B. (2008). Dehumanization and guilt as distinct but related predictors of support for reparation policies. Political Psychology, 29(2), 193–219.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2008.00623.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael

Personalised recommendations