I am a psychology student taking James Neill's Motivation and Emotion 2011 Motivation and Emotion class. One of the assignments for this course is drafting a Motivation and Emotion textbook chapter on wikiversity. After checking out the 2010 Motivation and emotion student-authored textbook, I'm really looking forward to developing a chapter myself. One area I am hoping will be covered on the course is the emotions involved in making moral decisions.
After a bit of thought, I've chosen to write about shame. It is such a horrible emotion to experience and seems so toxic and unhelpful, it's hard to understand what possible adaptive purpose it serves. So, finding out:
- exactly what shame is,
- why we have it,
- what behaviour might be motivated by shame,
- whether shame does us any good and, if not, how we get rid of it/avoid it,
all sound like useful things to study and write about.
There seem to be lots of theoretical discussions cropping up but I am crossing my fingers there are actually treatments popping up in the literature. Possible lines of thought in terms of shame include exploring it using examples from the psychological literature on alcohol/drug abuse, trauma, body image, and stigma. So happy that wiki has edit because first time I wrote that last sentence it sounded like I was personally going to explore all the things mentioned - not very scientific of me (a bit too participant-observer in terms of method). I am also aware that, via these other areas, shame may intersect with other chapters we eagerly emerging academics are working on. So will be trying to keep an eye out for this.
Have now finished the shame page & feel I understand more about it as an emotion. Also learned a lot about using wiki to communicate ideas. Would like to do that again, especially now I've got a better idea of how it all works.
Thanks to all for suggestions & support.