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

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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 (LEGSS), the Leuven Emotion Scale (LES) and the Post Critical Belief Scale (PCBS). 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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