Guilt and Religion: The influence of orthodox Protestant and orthodox Catholic conceptions of guilt on guilt-experience


This research examines whether religious conceptions of guilt in Protestant and Roman Catholic groups account for constructive or non-constructive guilt-reactions and for different guilt-frequency. Participants in three groups filled in the Leuven Guilt and Shame Scale, the Leuven Emotion Scale and the Post Critical Belief Scale. Protestants were expected to experience more non-constructive guilt than Catholics, who were expected to experience more constructive guilt. Both were expected to have a higher frequency of guilt experience than the control group. Differences between the groups were found: Catholics show more constructive guilt reactions than the other groups. Differences in non-constructive guilt reactions were not found. The Protestant and Catholic group experienced guilt more frequently than the control group.

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