Guilt-Prone People Adept at Reading Emotions
Do bad feelings make good radars? People suffering from what psychologists label “guilt-proneness” — those who perpetually feel responsible for errors and mishaps — are markedly better at reading others’ emotions based on facial expressions, a study says. Those who fit the “guilty” profile detected broad emotions in photographs of strangers, as well as “low-intensity” feelings. Shame-prone respondents, meanwhile, exhibited less empathy. The findings bolster theories that the guilt-inclined employ healthier relationship skills and less anti-social behavior, something scientists hope will alleviate their heavy collective conscience.