On the Measurement of Self-Conscious Emotions

Paul Sungbae Park, Michael Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Self-conscious emotions, like shame and pride, are thought to have an evaluative component in which the self is posited against a set of standards, rules, and goals of society. This study compares the two methods used to examine self-conscious emotions: a self-report questionnaire, the Test of Self-Conscious Affect in Children (TOSCA-C), and a direct observation of behaviors in response to particular tasks, developed by Lewis, Alessandri and Sullivan (1992). 126 young children participated in both tasks at ages 6 and 7. For the observation data, we found that the tendency to be self-evaluative in terms of success were not related to be self-evaluative in failure, and individual consistency across age was found for self-conscious emotions but not for the primary emotions. The questionnaire data showed that children who scored high in shame also scored high in failure, and there were no consistencies across age. There were weak, inconsistent associations between shame measured by the questionnaire technique and sadness observed in the experiment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1164-1172
Number of pages9
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Embarrassment
  • Pride
  • Self-conscious emotions
  • Shame


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