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Does the Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA) measure maladaptive aspects of guilt and adaptive aspects of shame? An empirical investigation

Luyten, P; Fontaine, JRJ; Corveleyn, J; (2002) Does the Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA) measure maladaptive aspects of guilt and adaptive aspects of shame? An empirical investigation. PERS INDIV DIFFER , 33 (8) 1373 - 1387.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine whether the Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA; Tangney, J. P., Wagner, P. E., & Gramzow, R. (1989). The-Test of Self-Concious Affect. Fairfax, VA: George Mason University) measures maladaptive forms or aspects of guilt and adaptive aspects of shame that have been described in the literature. First, a judgmental and logical analysis showed that the TOSCA primarily measures mild and adaptive forms and aspects of guilt and maladaptive aspects of shame. Next, principal components analyses (PCAs) in a student (N = 328) and adult (N = 542) sample showed that items that had a high loading on the guilt factor primarily were items that referred to reparative behavior, while items that had high loadings on the shame factor consisted primarily of items that referred to low self-esteem. To investigate to which extent these items were responsible for correlations found with the TOSCA, we constructed a revised guilt scale containing only items that referred to reparative behavior and a revised shame scale consisting of items that only referred to negative self-esteem, and related these to indices of interpersonal and intrapersonal functioning. The revised TOSCA scales reproduced both the pattern and magnitude of correlations obtained with the original TOSCA scales. Thus, taken together, the results of this study support the interpretation of the TOSCA guilt scale as a measure of mild and adaptive forms of guilt and the TOSCA shame scale as a measure of maladaptive aspects associated with shame. Implications of these findings for further research on the nature of guilt and shame are discussed. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

Type: Article
Title: Does the Test of Self-Conscious Affect (TOSCA) measure maladaptive aspects of guilt and adaptive aspects of shame? An empirical investigation
Keywords: shame and guilt, emotion research, INTERPERSONAL GUILT, EMBARRASSMENT, EXPERIENCES, DEPRESSION, INVENTORY, PRONENESS, ANGER
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1314220
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