Research Methods in Psychology An investigation of selfconscious emotions using qualitative methods

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The factors that are involved in emotional responses often are difficult to identify, as are the variety of ways that men and women differ in their experiences and expression of guilt, shame and embarrassment. While on the most basic, definitive level, men and women are assumed to experience the same types of emotions in the same types of situations, it remains unclear where these emotional responses differ.


For psychological researchers and analysts, more information is needed on the social situations that lead to these emotions, as well as the specific social interactions that can alleviate or heighten the negative emotional experience. The aim of this research project is to gather data from males and females relating to their own experiences with guilt, shame and embarrassment and to interpret the factors involved as well as the differences between men and women.
To discover the different social situations and interactions that separate men and women in their experiences of guilt, shame and embarrassment, ten questionnaires containing three questions on the topic were distributed to five men and five women. Each question asked the informant to identify different situations in which he or she has or would experience guilt, shame and embarrassment. The questions left room for large or small descriptions by informants, and the unstructured form of each question ensured that those filling out the questionnaires weren't led in any particular direction in terms of their answers. Answers were therefore expected to be unique to every man and women who filled out the questionnaire.
To interpret this data, keywords were extracted from the questionnaires, which had been s ...
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