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Mental Health

To Guilt, Or Not To Guilt? A Social Dilemma

Michele Lamberti
Creative Commons

Guilt. Ah, yes, that awful, anxiety-ridden five-letter word. Most of us have experienced it. All of us have learned to dread it. But is a little guilt really such a bad thing?

This hour, we consider that question and more with a series of guilt (note we did not say “guilty”) experts. We check in with a researcher at the University of Virginia and with a psychologist based in New York. And we want to hear from you, too. 

When was the last time you felt guilty? How did that feeling impact you? 

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.



The Atlantic: When Guilt Is Good - “Vaish is one of a number of scholars studying how, when, and why guilt emerges in children. Unlike so-called basic emotions such as sadness, fear, and anger, guilt emerges a little later, in conjunction with a child’s growing grasp of social and moral norms. Children aren’t born knowing how to say “I’m sorry”; rather, they learn over time that such statements appease parents and friends -- and their own consciences."

NPR: Is It Possible To Put A Band-Aid On A Bad Feeling? - "Psychologist Guy Winch makes the case for practicing emotional hygiene -- taking care of our emotions with the same diligence we take care of our bodies."

Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on April 26, 2018. 

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