Discussion paper

DP18629 Shame, Guilt, and Motivated Self-Confidence

The available evidence from anthropology, economics, and psychology suggests that sensitivity to the emotions of shame and guilt varies across cultures. So does (over)confidence in ability and skills. Is there a connection between these observations? We address this question theoretically and empirically. We
find significant evidence, consistent with our model, of a negative
relationship between the cultural importance of shame relative to guilt and individual confidence. The relationship holds across countries, and for U.S. immigrants relative to their culture of origin.


Dessí, R, J Ren and X Zhao (2023), ‘DP18629 Shame, Guilt, and Motivated Self-Confidence‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18629. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18629