ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (6): 1058-1068.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.01058

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 Collective guilt: Definition, psychological mechanisms, action tendency and interventions

 YIN Rong1; ZHANG Fei-Fei1; WANG Yuan-Yuan1; XU Zhi-Hong2   

  1.  (1 School of Teacher Education, Weifang University, Weifang 261061, China) (2 Zhejiang University Of Media and Communications, Hangzhou 310018, China)
  • Received:2016-08-09 Online:2017-06-15
  • Contact: YIN Rong, E-mail: E-mail: E-mail:
  • Supported by:

Abstract:  When an important ingroup is considered responsible for immorality harm toward outgroup, individuals can experience collective guilt. This kind of emotion can result from past harmful events, current intergroup conflicts, unfair social relations and future harmful events. Group identity, ingroup responsibility and behavior illegitimacy are three key antecedents of collective guilt. Collective guilt could cause members of perpetrator group to perform positive behaviors toward the victimized group, such as friendly attitudes, reconciliations, compensations and intergroup supports. Methods for inducing collective guilt include group affirmation, self affirmation, promoting common identity, highlighting ingroup responsibility, showing existing compensation actions and so on. Future research should clarify genetic mechanism of collective guilt and further explore the complex relationship between collective guilt and reparation.

Key words:  collective guilt, group identity, group affirmation, group-based emotions

CLC Number: