October 12, 2012

IN OTHER WORDS, NEVER TRUST ANYONE WHO DOESN'T KNOW MAN IS FALLEN:

To Find an Honest Person, Assess Guilt-Proneness (Daniel Akst, 10/12/12, WSJ)

Is there a way to predict who is more likely to lie, cheat, steal or be a louse generally? Try assessing guilt proneness.

That's the message of a new paper  by a trio of social scientists reporting on research in this arena. It turns out that some people are considerably more prone to guilt than others, and their behavior is constrained by this predisposition to feel bad if they do something wrong--even when nobody else knows about the wrongdoing.

Guilt-proneness is measured using the 16 point Guilt and Shame Proneness (yes, GASP) scale, which you can try for yourself (scroll down through the link).  Questions 1, 9, 14, 16 appear to focus specifically on proneness to guilt.

The researchers find that 30% to 40% of adults are highly guilt-prone, and these tend to be nice folks. Guilt-proneness correlates to all kinds of positive traits, including sincerity, fairness, modesty, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

Posted by at October 12, 2012 4:50 AM
  

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