Symbolization Of Guilt

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Guilt is commonly symbolized as being a heavy weight. This type of reference shows up in one of the Psalms and is even present in the Quran. This symbolization can be summed up in the common phrases, “the heavy burden of guilt” and “the weight of guilt.” Focusing on those phrases, researchers sought to determine whether physical weight has any influence on the amount of guilt an individual reports. Individuals experience guilt when their actions do not follow the standards of society. Guilt is a frequently avoided emotion. However, even though guilt is often seen as a negative emotion, guilt can be connected to positive outcomes. By trying to avoid guilt, individuals could be influenced to avoid wrongdoing. It can also influence an individual’s desire to make amends and seek forgiveness. Through research, the facial expressions and physical attributes associated with guilt have been documented repeatedly. Some of these reactions include an increased heartbeat and an overall feeling of heaviness. Recent research has revealed a close relationship between the bodily expressions of emotions and how the emotion is then processed. This suggests that the physical state of the body could be manipulated to intensify an emotion. Given the link between these two factors, the…show more content…
124 participants were randomly assigned to a heavy or light backpack and randomly chosen to write about a neutral and guilt-ridden experience. The ease of writing was measured by looking at how many words were written per second. Across all participants, there was a significantly higher fluency score when writing about a neutral experience. For the heavy-backpack wearers, the fluency score was higher when writing about a guilty topic. There was no difference between the two groups in regard to the neutral topic. This proves that weight also led to an easier processing of guilty-induced

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